Devour picture-perfect pastries and dreamy doughnuts at Bulimba’s Darvella Patisserie
If we had enough pull to influence the writing of the history books, we’d emphasise the role sweet treats and baked goods had on getting us through 2020. When lockdowns made us crazy, croissants helped. When restrictions had us down in the dumps, we turned to doughnuts. Even though a new year has started, we’re not expecting our dependence on carbs to lessen, which is good, because newly opened Bulimba bakery and patisserie Darvella has some treats that are too irresistible to ignore. This European-inspired dispensary is slinging gooey Nutella-filled doughnuts, Swiss-chocolate infused croissants and heavenly cakes by the score. Read on to see why this arrival is the perfect sweet start to 2021 …
Early on New Year’s Day, while we were sleeping off the effects of our 2020 send-off celebrations, the team behind Bulimba’s Darvella Patisserie was gearing up to open for the first time. Not long after the crew had finished stocking the cabinets and flicked on the lights, throngs of pastry lovers appeared at Darvella’s doorstep, eagerly awaiting a taste of the anticipated bakery’s products. While it’s not often a brand-new concept receives such a rapturous welcome on its first day of trade, many of the assembled clientele were already intimately familiar with core elements of Darvella’s offering. Back in the dark days of Brisbane’s pandemic lockdown, hospitality figure Giorgina Venzin savvily diversified operations at her popular Woolloongabba cafe Pawpaw. With the help of newly recruited pastry chef Lindsay Krahenbring, Giorgina launched a pop-up bakery that specialised in dispensing a selection of handcrafted doughnuts every weekend. It didn’t take long for Lindsay’s recipes to capture the tastebuds of locals – they proved to be so popular that she was tasked with making hundreds of doughnuts, cakes and, soon after, croissants every week to satiate the growing demand. As one does when they strike gold, Giorgina and Lindsay figured that their collection of covetable cakes presented a vein worth mining. Soon the two began discussing how best to present their pop-up’s product range in a larger and permanent setting.
When it came to giving the concept its own identity, Giorgina looked to her own heritage for inspiration. Giorgina’s father Raymund grew up in a tiny town in Switzerland called Darvella and it’s this village’s alpine surrounds and culinary traditions that inform the look and approach of its Bulimba-based namesake. Located at the Brisbane River end of Oxford Street, Darvella is the first tenant to open within a recently redeveloped two-level multi-use micro precinct – just a hop, skip and a jump from the Bulimba ferry terminal. Clui Design and Tonic Projects have worked to actualise Darvella’s interior, dressing the space in an upmarket European aesthetic, with classic neutral tones (think plenty of blonde timber, white and terracotta) helping create a sophisticated vibe that serves to draw attention to the treats in the illuminated cabinets. A large glass window gives guests a chance to peer into the brand-new baking kitchen, while hotshot baristas sling orders to those waiting outside from a wide coffee window. Soon the exterior will also boast seating for roughly 20 dine-in guests – great for those who prefer to linger rather than grab and go.
When expanding the pop-up’s range, Lindsay has imbued some tasteful Swiss and European touches across Darvella’s full in-store selection, using sustainable flour from the Wholegrain Milling Company, Canary butter from New Zealand and free-range eggs from Emu Creek to ensure the baking process is built on quality foundations. Lindsay’s prime directive is adapting flavours she likes to eat most, imbuing them into chic and eye-catching creations that are precisely measured and portioned. Darvella’s range is, of course, anchored by Lindsay’s lauded range of doughnuts – available with fillings such as lemon curd, blueberry jam, strawberry cream and caramel. Pastry lovers will melt after one bite of Darvella’s buttery and flaky croissants (with plain, almond, Swiss chocolate and ham-and-cheese varieties on hand), sugar-dipped cruffins (some filled with a decadent dollop of Nutella), fruit-loaded danishes, tangy passionfruit-meringue tarts, indulgent mille-feuilles and cream-filled choux. We have an inkling that the eyes of many will be drawn to Darvella’s array of baby cakes – and for good reason. These compact confections are perfect for celebrating an occasion with a small group of friends, with the artfully decorated desserts coming in a variety of flavours, including salted-caramel popcorn, triple chocolate, gluten-free orange and almond, and vegan coconut. A selection of breads (think braided challah loaves, rye sourdoughs and brioche buns) pairs perfectly with a host of deli morsels including Swiss cheeses and meats (available alongside pre-made sandwiches if you’re feeling lazy). The Venzin Group’s own Monocle Coffee is Darvella’s bean of choice, but anyone after some more Swiss-infused indulgence should order a cup of hot chocolate – made using the good stuff from Lindt.
Darvella Patisserie is open to the public. For operating hours and contact details, click over to the Stumble Guide.
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