Tony returns from New Zealand!

So I just spent 3 weeks pushing our company JLR credentials in New Zealand, looking for new work as part of the JLR Global rollout!.   I’m sure we can do better than this JLR in Auckland after all!  (Lucia– I’ll send over my expenses shortly)
— Tony
Unsure that all my expenses would be covered by the company, I did a little sight-seeing too.
— Tony

Team challenge at Bath Escape Rooms

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Locked rooms - secret codes - riddles!

To keep the social rhythm going we are proposing a team outing to the Bath Escape Rooms sometime after work. We thought it would be a great opportunity to collectively use our brain cells whilst having fun unlocking the secret codes!

The concept: Race the clock trying to solve clues to reveal the combination of a lock that opens a chest! Inside is hidden another clue that contain hints on how to read the next. This leads to another mystery within another mystery within another mystery…. Sounds fun right..?

It turns out there are two escape rooms in Bath offering similar activities but slightly different experiences. Each room offers a different difficulty level, can hold between 2-6 people and games can vary between 60 minutes to 3 hours.

Interested? Look out for an email soon with more details and vote YES! We will gauge interest and organise the detail.

Cost: We will book the type of room and difficulty level depending on the number of people coming. Approximate cost: £10 per person.

Happy pancake day!

The humble pancake!


Here is the perfect pancake recipe - apparently! From BBC goodfood

A creative twist?

Gin and tonic pancakes


For the syrup

  • 250ml can gin & tonic

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

  • lemon , juiced (and zest for garnish)

For the pancakes

  • 200g self-raising flour

  • egg

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

  • 250ml can gin & tonic

  • oil for frying


  1. To make the syrup, pour a can of gin & tonic into a saucepan along with the sugar and lemon juice and reduce for a few mins until syrupy. Set aside.

  1. To make the pancakes, put the flour, egg, sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl, pour in the other can of gin & tonic and whisk the batter until smooth. Lightly oil a non-stick pan, set over a medium heat, add two spoonfuls of batter into the pan and cook for 1-2 mins on each side. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with the syrup drizzled over and finely grate over some lemon zest.

Recipe from, February 2018

Vegan pancakes


  • 125g gluten-free plain flour (we used Doves Farm)

  • egg replacer, equivalent to 1 whole egg (we used Orgran No Egg) mixed with 2 tbsp water

  • 250ml hemp or coconut milk

  • sunflower or rice bran oil, for frying

  • orange segments and agave syrup , to serve


  1. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the Orgran egg replacer and a quarter of the milk.

  2. Use an electric whisk to thoroughly combine the mixture, then beat in another quarter of the milk. Once lump free, mix in the remaining milk. Leave to rest for 20 mins. Stir again before using.

  3. Heat a small non-stick frying pan with a splash of oil. When hot pour a small amount of the mixture into the pan and swirl around to coat the base – you want a thin layer. 

  4. Cook for a few mins until golden brown on the bottom, then turn over and cook until golden on the other side. Repeat until you have used all the mixture, stirring the mixture between pancakes and adding more oil to the frying pan as necessary.

  5. Serve with an orange wedge and a drizzle of agave syrup or filling of your choice. This mixture keeps for a few days if you store it covered in the fridge. Give it a good whisk before using.

    Recipe from BBC good food

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Creative moments and more from Chris!

So after about 6-8 months of grafting on evening and weekends – trying to figure out print sizes, mounts and matting proportions, suppliers, expenses and profits etc and then potentially tax and self-assessments….and a whole load of photoshopping…

 I have finally managed to open my etsy shop selling prints of my paintings! Please feel free to take a look, and feel free to share (and buy lots of stuff…if you want!)


Christmas in Venice

It was amazing being in Venice at Christmas. As it is Winter it is not busy, so I had the plenty of time to take things slowly and enjoy the city.
— Yuan

SRA Day of Christmas 2018

What a brilliant day!

A big thank you to Emma and all those involved in organising the day. And thank you to the Partners for their generosity.

We raised £60.50 for Christmas Jumper Day, a campaign which supports Save the Children - thanks to everybody for getting involved. Some festive snaps follow!

Secret Santa

Christmas party

Ben Fogle talk in Bath

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From Karen:

There were a few of us at the Ben Fogle talk last night in Bath.   I personally found it fascinating to hear about Ben’s journey through life to where he is now.

Ben often gets referred to as an adventurer or a broadcaster, but actually he sees himself as a ‘story-teller’, communicating his adventures through different media such as books and TV.

There is another chance to catch Ben Fogle in Bath on 2 March 2019.


Back from Oz!

It’s only Spring!!

It’s only Spring!!

David is gently resurfacing from melting Oz heat and jet lag. Here are some pictures from his latest trip.


A bit of sun for you

A bit of sun for you

View from the hotel!

View from the hotel!

Brisbane growing skyward

Sydney by night




View from the hotel

View from the hotel




Festive dates for your diary

Starting this month - there is a host of festive venues and activities to enjoy in Bath! Here’s a selection to get you in the mood!


Christmas lights - Bath

16 November

Kicking off the festive activities, the warm glow of twinkling Christmas lights will signify the start of the late-night shopping offer across the city.

Christmas lights - Bristol

15 November

This year enjoy more festive lights, festoons and Christmas events in the city centre.

17 November

A spectacular theatrical Christmas light switch-on at the Mall at Cribbs Causeway. Not forgetting the Mall’s Winter Wonderland which opens on the day.

Nordic delights at SouthGate Bath

15 November - 7 January

Head to SouthGate Bath for what is billed as a magical Christmas shopping experience! Step through the magical wardrobe and enter the enchanted Nordic forest, complete with cosy cabins, forest glade and winter woodland animals.


Bath on ice and glow in the dark mini golf

16 November 2018 - 6 January 2019

Get your skates on and head to Royal Victoria Park for a spin on Bath’s festive outdoor ice rink. This year’s Bath on Ice is set to be bigger and better than ever – the rink will be a massive 39% larger. When night falls, head to the Mini Golf Course next door to enjoy some glow in the dark mini golf, before grabbing a wood-fired pizza and a festive tipple at Moguls Alpine Bar.

The Lodge

22 November - 9 December

At the epicentre of Bath Christmas Market is the pop-up Lodge in Stall Street. Brought to you by Bath Ales and Framptons Café Bar and Kitchen, The Lodge offers a rustic and festive atmosphere to relax in. Enjoy locally-brewed beers and warming mulled wines as you unwind after a busy day!

Après Ski Bar at Abbey Hotel

21 November – 22 December 2018

No, you’re not in the Alps, but you’ll feel like you are at the Abbey Hotel’s Après Ski Bar! Step into the snow-topped Alpine lodge or snuggle up outside under a woolly blanket and enjoy hearty food and a steaming mulled wine.

Bristol Christmas Market

9 November - 23 December

Located in the very heart of Bristol City Centre, the Christmas market is home to over 50 unique stalls, as well as entertainment from the likes of Santa and reindeer visits in December. Visitors can enjoy heated seating, delicious drinks and live music in our Jäger Barn Bar, and also try their hand at the much-loved sport of curling for some competitive fun.

Bath Christmas Market

22 November - 9 December

Regularly voted as one of the most popular Christmas Markets in the UK!

As you wander around the Market, keep an eye out for charming recycled-plastic decorations. This year, Bath Christmas Market are working with Christine Leech, Creative Director of Marie Claire Runway Magazine, to transform discarded single use plastics into creative Christmas decorations, with the help of local pupils of Widcombe Junior School. 

Discovery card holders can use their card to obtain discounts and offers on produce from stallholders.

Festive family artisan market

Saturday’s throughout Bath Christmas Market

Queen Square will host a Festive Family Artisan Market. From a Kids Café and festive storytelling to Christmas arts and crafts workshops and face painting, there will be plenty to keep children of all ages entertained. With glass-blowing demonstrations from Bath Aqua Glass, tasty street food and local makers from Bath Artisan Market, there will be lots of activities on offer for adults too!

Shoppers’ carols at Bath Abbey

24 November, 1 and 8 December

Rest your weary legs and enjoy some festive cheer at one of Bath Abbey’s shoppers’ carol services. Enjoy an informal service with traditional carols.

Bedminster lantern parade

6 December

The annual Winter Lantern Parade will light up the streets of Bedminster, starting from the Tobacco Factory for the first time. Lanterns are expected to come in all shapes and sizes at this truly magical event.

Lantern parade - Bath

9 December

The Walcot lantern parade is happening again this year. There is an opportunity to attend a free workshop and make a lantern and then be in the procession. More details here.

Kingsmead Square festive street food market

Thursday - Sunday throughout Bath Christmas Market

Some of the South West’s most exciting street traders will come together at Kingsmead Square for a seasonal street food market. Treat yourself to a mouthwatering meal and sip on a glass of mulled wine or cider whilst enjoying live music from exciting local artists.

Peter Pan at Theatre Royal Bath

7 December - 7 January

This year's pantomime at Theatre Royal Bath is J.M. Barrie's much-loved tale of Peter Pan. Starring Paul Nicholas (Eastenders, The Real Marigold Hotel, Just Good Friends), Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty), and Bath favourite Jon Monie, and featuring flying and exciting special effects.


Much-loved carousel

From 14 December

Enjoy a whirl on the beautiful Victorian caraousel, which returns outside the Pump Room on Stall Street in December.

Carols by Candlelight

19 December at St Michael’s Without
20 and 21 December at the Pump Room

Bath Bach Choir’s much-anticipated annual festive event: three evenings of joyful Christmas music-making, conducted by Nigel Perrin and including carols from local children’s choirs and young virtuoso instrumentalists.

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First Bus Commuter Travel Club

To join and purchase your ticket:

  • Visit this web page and select your local travel area. This will generate the prices applicable to your area for you to view.

  • Either login or register an account at the bottom of the web page.

  • Select SRA Architects from the drop down menu when prompted

  • You will be asked for your work email address before registration finishes.

  • Any queries? Please contact Karen.

Useful links


Last minute trip to Lake Como

I was really lucky to have an opportunity to visit Lake Como recently with some friends. One of our group lives near Lenno, right on the edge of the lake.

The weather was fabulous, which made the lake even more stunning. I dared to have a dip - it was pretty cold, but bearable!

I definitely would recommend a visit at some point, if the opportunity arises. There are plenty of lovely walks and places to chill out and enjoy the views.
— Karen

Lake Como

Lake Como is over 20 miles long with Como, the main city to one end of the lake. In the shape of an inverted Y, Como is at the end of the south west leg, Lecco to the south east leg and north toward the Alps and Colico, Gera Lario and Domaso.

One of the deepest lakes, it reaches 1300 ft at its deepest and surprisingly this puts the bottom below sea level! Fed by the river Adda and flowing out at Lecco, Lake Como sees high water levels after rain especially post winter thaws.

Central to Lake Como, also know as "Lario" by the locals, are the three famous towns of Varenna, Menaggio & Bellagio which form the golden triangle centre to the Lake with mountains arising all around. These three towns are the only car ferry ports on Lake Como. Varenna has a train station, Menaggio is the beginning of the pass over to Porto Letizia and Bellagio provides access to the countryside between Lecco and Como.

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Another yes! Yippee!

So as you all know by now I asked Emily to marry me over the weekend and she said yes!

We were in Norfolk for the weekend and spent a bit of time in Hunstanton, which has an amazing beach. The beach cliffs are an impressive sight, as they’re formed in two distinctive bands of sandstone and chalk, creating a red and white stripe all along the beach. It’s also an unusual beach, being on the east coast, it actually faces west – so you can watch the sun set over the sea, rather than rise! Well worth a visit if you’re in the area and the sun is out!
— Ewan

Congratulations from us all Ewan and Emily! (And thank you for the delicious homemade banana bread - it didn’t last long!)

Find out more about Hunstanton here.

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Creative gorgeous-nous!

In Croatia I spent a lovely week doing a raku ceramics course where the main activity was sitting in the garden making pots, drinking copious amounts of tea and eating biscuits.
— Emma McD

Southern sausage breakfast cake

A savoury breakfast with a twist!


  • 454g Maple Sausage

  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced

  • 225g Red and Yellow Peppers, chopped

  • 300g Flour

  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

  • 2 Tablespoons Shortening

  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt

  • 150g Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 100g Buttermilk

  • 75g Sour cream


  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

  • 1/4 Cup Butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Spray an 8×9″ baking pan with nonstick spray.

  3. In a skillet over medium heat, add the sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, about 3-5 minutes.

  4. Remove to a mesh strainer in the sink to allow the grease to drain off.

  5. Place the skillet back on the burner, no need to wash it first, add a drizzle of oil and the onions and peppers.

  6. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.

  7. Remove to a plate to cool.

  8. In a bowl, add the flour, baking powder, shortening, pepper and salt.

  9. Using a pastry cutter or fork, blend the shortening into the flour.

  10. Add the cheese and mix.

  11. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk and sour cream.

  12. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the egg, buttermilk and sour cream.

  13. Add the sausage and peppers on top and stir until just combined.

  14. Spread the very thick, sticky batter into the baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes or until set in the middle and golden brown.

  15. Meanwhile, melt the butter and maple syrup together and set aside.

  16. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes then pour the sauce all over the top and serve immediately.

Recipe from here

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Sausage breakfast cake

sausage cake.jpg

It really just tastes like a spice cake with nuts and raisins - you can't really taste the sausage in it, except it does make it a coarser texture. Serve with coffee. It keeps you full on a cold morning!


Serves: 12 

  • 450g pork sausage

  • 325g dark brown sugar

  • 300g caster sugar

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 375g sifted plain flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon allspice or cloves

  • 235ml brewed coffee

  • 145g raisins

  • 120g walnuts, chopped


Prep: 20min   Cook: 1hr30min Ready in: 1hr 50min 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour a 23cm cake tin. Pour boiling water over raisins and let stand 5 minutes. Drain well and dry.

  2. In large bowl, combine sausage, brown sugar and caster sugar. Stir until mixture is well blended. Add eggs and beat well.

  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, ginger, baking powder and spices.

  4. Stir bicarbonate of soda into coffee.

  5. Add flour mixture and coffee alternately to sausage mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold raisins and walnuts into cake batter.

  6. Pour cake batter into the greased cake tin. Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 1 1/2 hours or until skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling tray.

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Staff summer party

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Row, row, row our boat - Splash!

Here are some photo's from the staff summer party bash on Friday. 

SRA Dragons snap and sketch

A big well done to SRA Dragons who took part in the Dragon Boat Race in Bath on Sunday. 

Here are some snaps and a sketch from Kate.


A visit to the Macallan Distillery

Just a few photos from the new Macallan distillery as featured in August’s RIBA Journal. Unfortunately we didn’t get much further than the café/ gift shop as all of the tours were fully booked.
— Fiona

If you fancy a visit yourself check out the RIBA feature here.