The weather reports had been disappointing. Tim and I had been looking forward to our trip to Whitewell since last year. The hotel is very popular and we had booked more than a year in advance to get our favourite room for a weekend. The room in question is room 20 that has a patio/balcony that overlooks the usually tranquil river.

However, things don't always go according to plan, do they? Some areas in the Northwest of England have been ravaged by storms. “A month's rainfall in a day”, the newspapers reported.

“More to come”, they also reported. And that weather is due to arrive today. And it has already started! It is grim, grey and miserable and has started raining.

I must be honest, I was a little shocked at how much the room prices have gone up. So much so, that I almost cancelled. But it was too late and we may end up losing our deposit.

Friday night's dinner was lovely. We had it in the bar area, which I think has a much better ambience than the formal restaurant.

The biggest disappointment thus far has been breakfast. I honestly think that Lorna's (mum's) breakfast at the guest house was far superior. I ordered the full English (without the black pudding) and it arrived swimming in oil. Gross. I managed to use a napkin to soak up the oil, but couldn't rid it from the oily taste. Other complaints: yogurt isn't served as standard and has to be ordered. No prepared fruits were available and almost all the fruit in the fruit bowl was not yet ripe enough to eat. There was only one flavour of juice available, toast was not put into a toast rack and arrived first, so it was soggy and cold by the time you're ready to eat it. Considering the B&B price and quality of their other meals, the breakfast certainly does not meet expectations.

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