The Arundel House Hotel is a decent, clean, tidy and reasonably priced hotel in Cambridge. The hotel is ideally located adjacent to Jesus Green so you can easily walk into Cambridge for sight-seeing. In addition, it has a large car park which is free to residents.

However, one unfortunate incident at breakfast means that I will probably never return there or honestly be able to unreservedly recommend it.

I am grabbing some fruit and yoghurt and returning to our table in the light and airy conservatory. As I pass the ‘Please wait here to be seated’ sign, I am surprised to see Norma standing there, waiting to be seated as she already has a seat allocated. With me. In the conservatory. Was it something I said ?

I am even more surprised to hear her raising her voice slightly at a waiter. My wife rarely gets cross or raises her voice. When she does, she doesn’t really sound angry, loud or intimidating but her voice quivers slightly.

Anyway, she said ‘Listen - I just want a cup of tea. I am a customer in your hotel and I have paid for breakfast. Is that really too much to ask ?’

The waiter nodded and replied ‘Not at all madam, I will have some tea brought over immediately’.

When we both sat down, my wife explained the background to this little outburst.

Tea and coffee wasn’t served to your table. Instead it was available for self-service in two large coffee pots. Fine.

The coffee pot containing tea was empty. Norma politely asked a waitress if she could bring a fresh pot out.

My wife ate some cereal. The tea didn’t arrive. She ate some toast. The tea didn’t arrive. She got up again and politely asked for some tea. Again.

A waitress rather forcefully told her - ‘Yes - I know. It’s coming. It’s coming. Look - here he is now’.

My wife poured some tea into her cup from the freshly brewed, steaming pot of tea. Some grey liquid entered her cup. She frowned - waited 30 seconds, sluiced the content of the large pot around in an effort to strengthen it up and tried again. She go the same grey liquid - this time with a pinkish tinge.

She asked another waitress for a single pot of tea. She was told, rather forcefully, ‘No - tea is served from the table in the conservatory’.

Norma is now getting officially pissed off so she grabs a small teapot from an empty or vacated table and asks a waiter - ‘The tea from the large pot isn’t very nice. Please can I have a pot of tea in here ?’ (helpfully points at teapot).

Waiter responds - ‘No - that teapot is only for Green Tea’ and dismissively walks away.

Wife is now verging on enraged which is where I originally saw her at ‘Waiting to be seated’ sign, blissfully unaware as I sipped at my perfectly acceptable filter coffee.

The saga ends when a waitress finally comes to our table brandishing a teapot.

Or, it would have ended there, if she had not slammed the teapot down on the table with such force that the plates with mini-jars of marmalade and honey shook and a table leg nearly gave way.

I looked at the waitress. She looked cross, very cross. If looks could kill, there would have been a massacre.

Screw this - this has gone far enough. She’s not insulting my wife like this.

I gestured to the cup of grey liquid in the teacup (with a strange pinkish tinge) which looked so unappetising, I daren’t even try it.

‘Look at that tea - it’s disgusting’.

‘Looks alright to me’, the sullen waitress replied.

‘Are you serious ? Would you drink that ?’

‘Yeah - I would drink it’ and she glared at me for that little extra touch of customer service.

She was lucky she wasn’t wearing the damned cup of grey slops when she departed with a face like a kid who had been denied sweeties, had her phone taken away and grounded for a week.