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.

Australia

 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

Singapore

 Hotel

Hotel

 View from the hotel

View from the hotel

 Gardens

Gardens

 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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
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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!

Ingredients

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  • 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

Sauce

  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

  • 1/4 Cup Butter

Directions

  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

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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!

Ingredients

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


Method

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.

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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. 

 

French frolics

Sometime between crashing in to the gates of Versailles, breaking down in rural France whilst towing, getting saturated in a flash flood, smashing my iPhone, having a water pump failure, and having the caravan broken in to, I managed to make it to a supermarket to carefully retrieve some French sweets. They are currently safe and secure in my bag and barring another unfortunate turn of events will be in the kitchen shortly.

Based on this run of luck I opted to stay away from the very tall cliff edge, but did take my chances in a canoe…
— MIke
 

Camping adventures in Pembrokeshire

Lizzie has arrived safely back from her camping adventure to the Pembrokeshire coast having battled 40mph winds. Here are some pictures from her travels.


Celebrating the big day!

Congratulations to Hilary and Ben who celebrated their wedding on Saturday. Here are some lovely pictures from the day. 


Holiday trip to Portugal and a site visit to Faro JLR!

Here are some of Lizzie's blue sky and sea pictures from lovely Portugal. 

 

Magical Chania in Crete

Pictures of Adam's recent trip to Chania in Crete. He highly recommends a visit!

And these tasty jellies are pretty magical too! A very traditional treat which remind both Adam and his parents of their childhood.  Adam brought a packet in for us to enjoy: one minute they were sitting on the kitchen table - the next - all gone! (Very magical!). 

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