Anticipated since September this Christmas gift of 1 night stay with dinner was merged with a birthday; a break with thought; a special time. I was impressed by our welcome especially in such a setting by the maitre de. She seemed keen we attended Evensong but we were tired and keeness felt like single minded insistence. Our room was only geared to one which didn`t feel attentive. There were unmentionnables in the toilet and hairs in the bath. We tried to laugh this off as we drank the shared tea bag and biscuit. The big blow came when we were offerred a Sunday eve menu; Mum had been anticipating fillet steak for 8 weeks; myself I was relishing a change from salmon. We got neither but a brouhaha ensued over gift card terms and I didn`t get a sniff of Pinot until I`d fetched it from the room and proved our worth. The cathedral and room were beautiful. Next morning the `cleaner` put down her mop and buckets to serve us tea and toast. When the pleasant waiter took over she resumed cleaning windows. Breakfast was good with special bread, nicely turned eggs and choice. No word of goodbye forthcame when Mum waited at reception to return the key.....so much so she advised me not to go back indoors to say goodbye once I`d loaded the car. It`s left a bad feeling. Mum`s perception is that the maitre de (in fact the owner) is struggling in the economic climate. We certainly weren`t her most important guests. Didn`t leave much of a review on the card left in the room.....there was no ink in the pen provided. We shall laugh again but sadly this might be our last trip. At 85 Mum is struggling a little. Thank goodness for previous fantastic memories elsewhere when we were treated with respect and not as if the hotel owners problems were our problems.