Proprietors – Zinzan and Alison Brooke
Zinzan Brooke is credited with being one of the greatest rugby players ever to grace the field, and to many, he is the world’s best-ever Number 8. His excellent all-round abilities – combining the attributes of a backline player with the strength and agility of a forward, coupled with his competitive approach – ensured Zinzan’s place as an icon of world rugby. His exceptional talents were clearly demonstrated during the 1995 World Cup semi-final against England, when he infamously kicked a 40-metre drop goal. The sheer audacity of such a feat was only emphasised by Zinzan’s nonchalance and calm during the event.
Following an extensive professional career in New Zealand, Zinzan found himself across the pond, when in 1997 he signed for English Premiership side Harlequins. He retired from professional rugby three years later, but continues to play amateur rugby for English side Windsor, Berkshire and is currently working as a media commentator at Sky TV and writing a column for BBC Online.
It seems the magic of Windsor had captured the heart of the Brooke family, as Zinzan and his wife, Alison, purchased a Victorian villa nestling within the town centre. The aim was simple: to restore the previous B&B’s reputation into something to be reckoned with.
Now, with doors due to open early May 2009, it is clear that Zinzan’s dedication and attention to detail wasn’t reserved exclusively to the pitch. No stone has been left unturned in the quest for perfection, from the interior layout to the fine detail. Alison has worked her magic on the interiors, infusing modern minimalism with a warm heart: huge, comfortable Kingsize beds, sleek fully-tiled ensuites and mellow, relaxing dining and lounge areas. Add to that the delicious gourmet breakfasts on offer, the Brooke family ethos and the B&B’s Royal location, and you’ll soon understand that Frances Lodge is destined to be the perfect place to meet, unwind and explore.
Windsor Observer, 2009
It is going to be really exciting for Windsor. Zinzan Brooke and his wife worked side-by-side on the project, Zinzan on the construction and Alison on the decor. This local husband and wife team have taken great care to design a calm oasis of style enhancing the building’s original features.