The good thing about being given a two night weekend break for two is that it encourages you to try new things, which is exactly what My Other Half (MOH) and I did when we ended up in Banbury for the May bank holiday weekend. The voucher was for Old English Inns, which we had never stayed at before, and as we wanted to visit family in Oxford, we opted for the Cromwell Lodge Hotel in the heart of Banbury. Normally we choose modern hotels, so this was a new experience. The hotel is right in the centre of the town and quite easy to find. There is a public car park at the back and when we checked in we received a voucher for free parking for the whole of our stay. From the car park, entrance to the hotel is through the beer garden and past a large marquee. Check in was straight-forward, but without any sense of welcome. The bedrooms are up a very steep flight of stairs and along a creaky corridor. Well, it is a very old building! Our room was at the back, overlooking the marquee, so we were very glad that there was no wedding or other function taking place that night. Both of us found the bed very comfortable and the room was cosy, with ample storage. There was a flat screen TV, tea, coffee and biscuits, plus an iron and full-size ironing board. The ensuite bathroom was very compact and while the shower itself had a good flow of hot water, the actual cubicle was very flimsy. The water in the wash hand basin didn't drain away, which was something we reported to the staff when we left. We were pleased the weekend was warm as there was no heating in the bathroom and the window didn't shut properly. There is free wifi throughout the hotel and we had no problem using it in the bedroom. We chose not to eat in the hotel at night, but had breakfast on both mornings. We opted for kippers the first day which were very tasty but cooled quickly. I wonder why so many places serve hot food on freezing cold plates? The Illy coffee was good and there was also a wide selection of fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereal and pastries. On the second morning I had a very generous portion of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, while MOH had poached eggs. However, the place was very busy and the few members of staff run off their feet, so our ordered toast never arrived. Over breakfast, we heard other guests saying they had been kept awake by the church clock and noise from the main street, but with the marquee empty, our stay at the back of the hotel was very quiet. Two little niggles. Each morning the floor at the bottom of the stairs, which we had to cross to reach the breakfast area, had just been washed, so felt like an accident waiting to happen. Also, when we checked out, we were presented with a bill for our accommodation and breakfast, despite it being pre-paid. It was sorted out, but with no apology and for me summed up a comfortable but rather soulless stay.