Hosted by Canadian Fashion Designer
This art-infused 1780 Sea Captain's Estate, featured in décor magazines, sits overlooking the Bay of Fundy -- the highest tides in the world. Take time to unwind by the heated salt-water pool or relax with a glass of wine in the 8-person hot tub. Enjoy your morning coffee on the 110 ft wrap-around Victorian veranda, or on a stroll through the 4-acre orchard. Tour and shop the fully outfitted fashion studio to see the design and production process. It's your destination for retreats, team building, friend and family events, intimate weddings, or just a quiet relaxing getaway.
The name Willow Vale is derived from the presence of an enormous heritage “weeping willow” tree that resides on the property adjacent to the main house and guest house. There are numerous heritage trees on the property, some hundreds of years old, but the historic weeping willow typically receives the most attention from friends and visitors.
The land comprising Willow Vale has a long and rich history; before the construction of the main estate buildings in the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Mi’kmaq people of the region made use of the abundant wildlife and water resources found in the Avon River delta for millennia. In the 1680s, the French Acadians arrived and began building immense dyke systems in order to create prosperous farmland in the region until 1755 when they faced expulsion. The next arrivals were the New England Planters fleeing the aftermath of the American Revolution - this is the point in the late 1700s when a sea captain developed Willow Vale from Acadian crop land into a British estate with a stately home.
The history of the main house itself starts here; throughout the years the home went from a private estate, to being used as a birthing house, a working fruit farm, a blacksmith shop, to once again being a private home. Today after a lengthy restoration and expansion project aimed at retaining the heritage value of the architecture; the property comprises 4 acres of heritage trees and apple orchards, views of the highest tides in the world coming in from the Bay of Fundy, the main house, a carriage house, a saltwater pool and hot tub, and a newer guest house built in the same style as the original house.
The carriage house at Willow Vale, known as the Lisa Drader-Murphy Design Studio has now served as the design and manufacturing location for Canadian designer Lisa Drader-Murphy’s fashion label for two decades; this structure was historically used for horses, carriages, apple storage, and as a repair shop. Today we are proud to honour the tradition of this estate and once again open it to the public, not as a farm or birthing house - but as a relaxing getaway where you can enjoy nature, tour the wineries and sights of the Annapolis Valley, ponder Canadian history, and witness the ethical production of made in Canada clothing collections at the Lisa Drader-Murphy Design Studio. We have made a commitment to memorializing this long history and now enjoy sharing it with our local and international visitors.
The Guest House
The Guest House is a cozy one room + washroom. Queen size bed, single sofa-bed, mini-fridge, microwave, essential dishes, coffee maker, and soft seating.
Beds: 1 Queen, 1 Single (Sofa-Bed)
Property type: Guest House
Starting at $140/night
The Private Loft Suite is located in a private, separate wing of the Main House. Although the property draws guests to all the outdoors has to offer, there is also a 42" TV with Netflix, surround sound, hundred of books and DVDs, should you wish for some private indoor time. There is also a mini-fridge, microwave, French press coffee maker, essential dishes, and complimentary coffee and tea.
Bedrooms: 1 Studio
Beds: 1 Queen / 1 Dbl Sofa Bed
Property type: Guest Suite
Starting at $150/night
All of Willow Vale
This listing combine all guest accommodations on the property, including The Guest House and The Loft. This offers a private access to all amenities, including the pool, hot tub, pianos, kitchen, and more, for a group of up to 12.
Property type: House
Starting at $800/night
We also offer options for groups to book day gatherings, including early full-day check in for pool parties, BBQs, or simply to enjoy the property. Send us an enquiry and we can discuss customized options for your group.
Canadian designer Lisa Drader-Murphy is the president and sole owner of the Lisa Drader-Murphy brand, producing the Turbine and LDM labels, Hollywood & Luminaries Editor (International) for Story of Fashion Magazine and a sought-after professional public speaker. A Progress Club Women of Excellence award-winner in the category of innovator/entrepreneur, Drader-Murphy has also been awarded Atlantic Business Magazines Top 50 CEO award for two consecutive years.
After graduating in 1990 from Form & Function Design Academy in Calgary at the top of her class, Lisa went on to design numerous products for a variety of sectors, including performance clothing, ladies ready-to-wear, active wear, and children’s clothing and has contributed to the styling and outfitting for a number of film and television productions. Lisa has held positions as Head of Design and Director of Design & Product Development for major Canadian manufacturers of technical apparel and has consulted extensively as an independent specialist in the design of technical industrial performance clothing.
Her first independent label, Turbine, was established in January of 1997 after designer Lisa Drader-Murphy discovered a stock of high-end vintage tailoring wool in the warehouse of an employer. After months of designing, pattern development, and production, the first Turbine: Power Clothes for Women store was opened in downtown Calgary 's trendy Inglewood neighbourhood. A second store opened shortly after at The Eau Claire Market on Prince's Island Park. In 1998, with a 3rd store slated for Banff, an opportunity presented itself to move Lisa's young family to beautiful Nova Scotia and the temptation to enjoy a slower pace and family-friendly lifestyle was too great to resist. In 2015 Lisa re-branded her iconic Turbine label, to Lisa Drader-Murphy further establishing herself as an international designer label.
Lisa's company is unique in that it is one of few remaining in Canada that houses the design, cutting, production, and retail of her collections - all from her privately run production and retail facilities, having produced hundreds of thousands of pieces in this manner. Notably, Lisa has grown her business to 5 posh retail locations and a Mobile Boutique, debt-free, on retained earnings. Despite her continued growth, Drader-Murphy continues to be hands on in every aspect of production, hand drafting, cutting, and sewing many of her pieces.
When Lisa moved the business to Canada's East Coast in 1999, she maintained its cosmopolitan aesthetic, continuing to appear on runways, contribute to fashion shoots, and keep in the media spotlight. Since establishing in 1997, her business has garnered national and international buzz, with coverage including CTV, CBC, LIFE, Canadian Learning Television, Global TV, TNT, NY Times, USA Today, BFM France, NRJ, Canal+, Entertainment Tonight, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Flare, and CNN. Lisa has also been invited to the celebrity brand suites during the Toronto International Film Festival, the Golden Globes, Oscars, and the Cannes Film Festival and her styles are frequently spotted on celebrities around the globe.
BEER & WINE TOURS
(Not currently available due to maintenance.)
Willow Vale is stationed at the gate to Nova Scotia's wine country with over 20 beautiful wineries within a 5-20 minute drive. Complement your stay by booking one of our Beer & Wine Tours, conveniently picking you up and dropping you off at Willow Vale!
Our Willow Vale Tour bus accommodates 16 passengers, with packages for Beer &/or Wine Tours, Peggy's Cove and Halifax excursions, or even a commentated drive of the historical sights.
Our driver and tour host is available for customized, full day itineraries. This is a great opportunity for team-building, family outings, and getaways with friends. For a private group tour please contact us for a list of options and quotes.
Since 1999, all of the Lisa Drader-Murphy collections have been designed and produced in the carriage house on the property. As one of Canada's few remaining vertical fashion houses, up to 500 garments/week are handcrafted in this renovated building, surrounded by fruit trees. Guests are invited to tour the production, or shop the showroom.