the ghost at the feast

the ghost/spectre at the feast

  (British literary)
something or someone that spoils your enjoyment by making you remember something unpleasant John was the spectre at the feast, always reminding her of her broken promise.
See also: feast, ghost
References in periodicals archive ?
Leaving aside the inclusion of Staite Murray's splendid pots, in a way the ghost at the feast in this exhibition is Alfred Wallis.
The ghost at the feast of this year's bank results has been the report on banking for small businesses and the Government's reaction to it.
Overall, the Sussex was a tribute to Intikhab, but he is going to be the ghost at the feast for next couple of months and presumably Stoute will take advantage of that fact, keep Among Men's feet under the top table and get the big horse to consume as much Group 1 nourishment as possible until the Godolphin star returns to the fray.