Photo of The Giles Larkins

About The Giles-Larkins

The Early Days

After meeting at the internationally renowned Thanet Catering College in 1991, Nikki Larkin & John Giles started their invaluable training for their City & Guilds Catering Qualifications. The additional motivation was that John had secured himself a position at Buckingham Palace as a Footman.

Two years later, John embarked on his career Front of House in a small hotel in West Sussex. After gaining experience there, he enhanced his knowledge by employment in a more senior position at the Grand Nutfield Priory in Surrey, followed by the Berystede in Ascot.

Royal Duties

Nikki continued her training and passed with distinctions in 'Advanced Pastry'. After which she accepted a highly acclaimed and life changing position, of cook to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother at Her Majesty's Royal Lodge, Windsor in the summer of 1994.

September 1998 saw Nikki & John wed - thus forming the unique 'Giles-Larkin' name. In January 1999 John joined Nikki in the kitchens of Royal Lodge, where Nikki was promoted up to Sous Chef.

With Nikki's experience and John's support, their reputation for high standards in cooking soon became a watchword among the households. Nikki's expertise in making the most amazing cakes enhanced their combined reputation ever further. This ensured that whenever Queen Elizabeth went on her travels, John and Nikki went along too and in return they enjoyed the sights of Sandringham House, Castle of Mey, Walmer Castle, and Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire .

When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother sadly passed away at the Easter of 2002, Nikki & John faced another life-changing decision. For three months, Queen Elizabeth's Household were in mourning and little was said about their future. During this time, both Nikki and John served others in the Royal Family and eventually Nikki & John were offered permanent employment by the Earl & Countess of Wessex. This was declined for in June both John and Nikki had been offered employment as Housekeeper, Cook & Butler, and House Manager for David & Victoria Beckham.

Life after the Royals

It is well known that David and Victoria expect nothing less than perfection from their staff in everything they do. John and Nikki's reputation and qualifications easily met the strict criteria.

This lead to a series of major events which not only involved the perfect dinner party menu but everything that is required to impress guests and visitors. Not only did they have to cater for large numbers of sportsmen including the England Football Team, but also parties for the talented and famous stars of stage and screen: Sir Elton John, Naomi Campbell, Patsy Kensit, Jamie Oliver and the Spice Girls Reunion.

Life after the Beckham's

The call of a normal family life beckoned and John and Nikki set up a temporary home in Devon where life would be more suited to the upbringing of children. In December 2003 their daughter Caitlin was born.

A year later, in the run up to Christmas 2004, the Giles-Larkin's decided to leave life in the fast lane for the relative anonymity at their house in Appledore, North Devon. Looking for a permanent home in the area, they then settled in Frithelstock, near Torrington. In February 2007 their second child, Joseph, was born.

Career Moves

John kept his hand in as freelance Butler and Chauffeur, looking after local clients some of whom are titled and in positions of local importance.

Nikki maintained her skills in creating and selling many varied cake creations for weddings, celebrations and family events.

John, Nikki and the children relocated back to their home ground in Kent, not far along the coast from Whitstable and Herne Bay in May 2013.

Aside from John Butling he enjoyed a successful career with the well renowned and trusted 'Lady Magazine' in Central London.


The Autumn of 2014 saw another big family move for The Giles-Larkin's whom moved to Brentwood in Essex for John and Nikki's new career move, going back to their roots.

Nikki works as the Housekeeper, Cook and Groom, whilst John works as the Estate Manager, Butler and Groom on a beautiful 60 acre estate for a Private Family.