Francis was born in the East End of London in 1953 within the sound of the Bow Bells so technically he is a cockney.
His maternal Grandfather was awarded the Miltary Cross in World War One and went on to win an Olympic Gold Medal.
His father was a clergyman, being Rector of Stepney, then Rector of Liverpool and finally being Queen’s Chaplain at the Savoy Chapel. He was a Chaplain to the Queen.
Francis was educated at Radley. He was there with ex Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Curator of the National Portrait Gallery Sandy Nairne, Minister in charge of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson and actor Richard Gibson forever immortalised as Herr Flick in ‘Allo Allo’.
Work and Play
After Studying at Blackpool College he became an hotelier, first at the Chester Grosvenor Hotel. He was then appointed Manager of His Majesties Summer Palace in Aqaba Jordan where he was responsible for the entire Palace with the exception of His Majesties Yachts and, of course, Security.
From Jordan he became Food and Beverage Director at The Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados one of only four non-Barbadians working at the hotel. The General Manager was German, The Chef Swiss and the Golf Club Manager American.
He then came back to England to get Married to Anne by his Father at the Savoy Chapel. Francis then worked in the USA initially in Balitimore. He then opened the Boston Marriott Long Wharf on the waterfront in Boston. He was particularly pleased when the bar at the hotel beat Cheers, set in Boston, on Sales.
He then returned to England to open the London Marriott in Grosvenor Square. The first Marriott in the UK. (The second, after Amsterdam, in Europe) He then decided to stay in the UK running various hotels including being Operations Manager for six Select Country Hotels.
He and his wife Anne then set about starting and running their own hotel The Pear Tree at Purton in Wiltshire. It won many awards including The Good Hotel Guide, The RAC Blue Ribbon and two Rosettes from the AA.
Life As It Is Now
Living in Molise, Italy
He started writing initially about wine having a weekly wine column in the Swindon Advertiser, and a column in the Pride of Britain Magazine.
He retired in 2013 after 25 years, handing over control of the hotel to Anne and his daughter Alix. His interest in wine extended to him planting the first vineyard in the area, at the hotel, which produced 1,000 bottles in 2013.
He works part time at the Community One-stop Store in Purton.
His son Edward is also an hotelier at Jumeirah Al Qasr in Dubai.
Francis has long held an interest in training and education and was Chair of Governors of Bradon Forest School.
He was also responsible for starting INSPIRE the work experience programme for the hotel industry. He currently mentors various people, including the long-term unemployed, in setting up their own businesses.
He is a Master Innholder, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers and a Freeman of the City of London.
He thoroughly enjoys his work on the Eddie Zero series of fiction novels.