HOUSES OF IPSWICH
WITH DAVOR DJURIC FROM PIG ‘N WHISTLE REDBANK PLAINS
THE rise of craft beers continues, along with the popularity of cider, but often on a hot summer’s day nothing beats a cocktail, and there is also a resurgence in that market. With so many varieties of drinks available now, people are experimenting to get the perfect mix, and it is also reflected by the people who work in the industry. I’ve been making cocktails for over six years, and it’s something I’m really passionate about. Why? Every drink is exciting for me, you’re creating something new and I love seeing the smile on people’s faces when they get their drink. In the past few years I’ve seen many of the old classics come back into popularity, but also many with a modern twist to them. There are so many liqueurs available, and so many flavours, like caramel or any fruit you can imagine. The mojito is going through a resurgence. Martinis are coming back too, especially with the boom in popularity of espresso martinis, and people like to change things up. The espresso martini is so easy to make, yet ticks every box for what makes a good cocktail. Using vodka, Kahlua and coffee, it’s the perfect drink that reflects our love in Australia of everything coffee. The mojito is another drink perfect for a hot Ipswich day. It has lime, sugar syrup, rum, soda water and mint which makes it all very refreshing. One drink that is not on most people’s radar in 2018 is the pina colada, the old classic. I think I’ve only ever been asked for two of these in my career, nobody is drinking it, but everyone knows it. It’s a very simple drink to make, and used to be huge in the 80s and 90s, the original summer drink, but these days, things have changed. Men tend not to get cocktails, but there are many who like the old fashioned, along with espresso martinis. This is all reflective of the industry meeting customers’ needs, many people with drinks today, like food, want to know where their food comes from, and they are keen to know more about what they are consuming. Many people ask for a vodka but not just any one, they’ll ask for a brand of vodka, and being behind the bar, I have to keep on creating and experimenting. The hardest cocktails to make are the ones we’re not allowed by law to do anymore, the ones with flames on top, and that’s fair enough due to workplace health and safety. Otherwise cocktails are fun to make, it’s a good skill to learn. Personally, I love drinks with chilli and chocolate, my two favourite things in the world. I’ve always experimented, but my new favourite is the pink sapphire, it’s my own creation and I urge you to come and try it at Pig ‘n’ Whistle Redbank Plains. I love this industry, I love everything about it, the people, the challenge and the fact there is something always changing. It means you have to keep learning, keep moving and I like that. The industry has helped me to develop my skills, plus develop me as a person. IT’S a house that you’ve probably driven past hundreds of times and never realised what a treasure trove of history lies within. The history of Gooloowan, on Denmark Hill, can be traced back to 1849 when Benjamin Cribb, a name that often pops up in the Houses of Ipswich features, moved into the area with his wife, Elizabeth, and three children. Benjamin opened a store in Bell St, followed by another called London Stores. Sadly, Elizabeth died after having a fourth child and a year later Benjamin married Clarissa Foote, the sister of his manager, John Clark Foote. Raising the four children as her own, Clarissa went on to have another six with Benjamin. In 1856 Benjamin and John became partners, so Cribb and Foote, a name synonymous with Ipswich history, was born. Their department store dominated retail business until the site burnt down in the mid-1980s. With 10 children to house, Benjamin built Gooloowan in the early 1860s and lived there until he died in 1874. Clarissa stayed at Gooloowan until her death in 1899, only days before the start of the 20th century. Since then, the home has been passed down through the Cribb and related Walker families until 1988, when Graham and Genevieve Isbell bought the house. “We bought it 30 years ago, as previously we lived in Waghorn St, spending a long time making our dream home over a 20-year period,” Mrs Isbell said. “I have always loved Gooloowan and I knew that four generations had lived here before they decided to sell. I’ve always admired the exterior and I knew it needed some rejuvenating but we were OK with that.” As you walk into the home, like many of the older homes in Ipswich, it is amazingly cool. With long verandas around the entire house and french doors from most rooms, homes in the 1800s were designed to catch the breeze, no matter from what direction it was blowing. The main bedroom is airconditioned and is only used a few weeks of the year. The house does get cold and the main fireplace in the drawing room is used throughout winter. The Isbells have six adult children and eight grandchildren, who love to come and visit. When they moved in, their youngest child was only three years old, which led to many an adventure. “Our grandchildren love the place, it’s full of all kinds of things,” Mrs Isbell said. “They love all my bits and pieces. It’s full of discovery for them. “Having a three-year-old was hard and our youngest would often wander off, as the property wasn’t fully fenced. Kerrod Walters rang me one day and said my daughter was at his place down the hill.” As you walk into the house, the first door on the right is a library, stacked to the ceiling with books, mostly dating back to the 1800s. As part of the sale, the owners left a multitude of items behind, which might have deterred many people but the Isbells loved the idea. “We were delighted with all the memorabilia they left,” Mrs Isbell said. “The books are marvellous, most are from the 1800s and you can see what the original owners were interested in. I was very grateful they left them. It’s lovely to be surrounded by all those books. The Oxley library took many and then a private buyer and the rest were left. “Gooloowan will always be a work in progress but we enjoy looking after it.” With big verandas that give amazing views of the mountains, the house is a stone’s throw from Ipswich Hospital, yet is so incredibly peaceful and surrounded by trees. In every room there are books and magazines, with a radio tuned to ABC giving it a sense of calm among the history. Only one TV was found on QT Mag’s guided tour and two computers. The rest of the house, including the servants’ rooms, formal dining rooms and even a courting chair, make the house popular with history buffs. “We often have bus tours through as I like to open it to promote Ipswich and Queensland heritage,” Mrs Isbell said. “We would have had thousands of people through over the years and I have visitors’ books full of comments. “At the last Great Houses of Ipswich event we had 800 people visit. “People say to me on occasions that how much they would love to live here. It’s so different ... they like seeing an old house that is still lived in, as a family home. Some have said to me it’s a ‘living museum’.” “She knows every detail about this place!” Dr Isbell added. “You have to love what you do in these old homes and we are careful to look after the heritage of the house. “Someone once said, ‘Are you doing it up to sell it?’ “No. Not at all. We spent 20 years at our last house and loved it.” The Isbells clearly love this home too, especially the conservatory, where they spend most of their time in the summer months. “We think of ourselves as custodians,” Mrs Isbell said.