“BALFOUR Street, New Farm?” asks the airport bus driver. “Are you sure? There used to be a real rough, scuzzy backpackers’ down there.”

“No, really. There’s a new hotel and it’s supposed to be quite swish,” I assure him. The rest of the minibus has its ears open, so it’s with a flourish the garrulous driver pulls up in front of the wide verandahs of an urbane-looking Queenslander and declares: “Well, that’s a turn-up for the books. Not bad looking at all.”

click here to read more about Spicers Balfour, in Brisbane. Yes, Brisbane.