London's Claridge's hotel has said that it is "saddened" by the backlash on social media after asking a guest to "cover-up" while breast-feeding her 12-week-old baby.
Louise Burns was feeding her daughter, while enjoying afternoon tea at the five-AA-star, 203-bedroom hotel with her mother and sister when a member of the waiting staff asked her to cover up with a large white napkin.
She later voiced her frustration and disappointment on Twitter: "Asked to cover up with this ridiculous shroud while #breastfeeding so not to cause offence @ClaridgesHotel today". Later, she added: "…SO much more obvious with it than without! Such a shame I can never go back…. @ClaridgesHotel #breastfeeding".
Hundreds of messages in support of Burns, who worked in financial services and is married to the actor Nicholas Burns, have since appeared on Twitter, with people expressing their outrage and concern that the stance taken by Claridge's was possibly illegal.
The Equality Act 2010 states that it's sex discrimination to prevent a woman from breastfeeding in a public place, such as restaurants and hotels.
A spokesperson for Claridge's said: "We feel we need to clarify that breastfeeding is of course embraced at Claridge's. All we ask is that our guests are discreet."
The hotel later suggested that it is looking to review its policy by Tweeting: "We… are looking into better ways of communicating this moving forward."