Zinzan Brooke declared bankrupt

Former All Black star Zinzan Brooke and his wife Alison have been declared bankrupt in the UK.

The news was revealed on the Bankruptcy Orders section on the London Gazette website and refers to the couple's B & B operation in the English town of Windsor.

Both Zinzan Brooke and his wife Alison have bankruptcy orders listed.

Brooke is viewed by many as the best No.8 ever to wear the black jersey. He played for the All Blacks between 1987 and 1997, playing 58 tests and scoring 195 points, made up of 42 tries and three drop goals.

With Alison, a former cheerleader, Brooke was a regular feature on the pages of New Zealand women's magazines.

In an interview with the NZ Woman's Weekly in 2010, Ali Brooke described the family's business venture of turning Frances Lodge, their "former family home, into the most successful B & B in Windsor in a matter of months."

"We've made it modern and boutique-y and New Zealand-like," Ali told the Woman's Weekly. "There's nothing else like it in Windsor." The family now lives in a nearby rental property, said the magazine.

It said that although Zinzan and Ali had "bought several properties in the UK", the downturn in the property market meant "they'll have to wait until it picks up before considering a return to New Zealand."

Brooke was chosen as a subject late last year for TVNZ's "This is Your Life" television programme.

Frances Lodge is pitched on its website as possessing an atmosphere of "sophistication married with simplicity".

It is set in a location close to Windsor Castle "where the great and the good of Windsor choose to live".

Appearing on the outside like a traditional Victorian villa, inside were ten en-suite bedrooms, an open-plan communal lounge and dining spaces, the website says.

Brooke said his vision for the lodge was to provide an "oasis of calm" to people after they had watched "the muscle and brawn battling it out on the rugby pitch".

The Frances Lodge site says the B & B opened just three years ago.

"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," says the site.

"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," says the site.

"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."

-HERALD ONLINE

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