This outdoor-loving dad cooked an entire Christmas dinner complete with three meats, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puds and even self-baked mince pies for 35 guests – in the middle of a rainy forest.
Dad-of-two Paul Harvey, 48, organised the three-course feast for 35 of his pals last Saturday as an annual festive celebration.
Paul, who runs outdoor survival classes and loves cooking outdoors, kicked off the feast with a quartet of crostini, including brie and cranberry.
All the classic vegetables featured in the festive feast including honey roast carrots and parsnips, Brussels sprouts, fire roasted onions and stuffing.
And it wouldnt have been a true Christmas meal without pigs in blankets, which accompanied the trio of meats on offer – pork, beef and chicken.
Paul, from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, said: Ive always loved cooking, but Im no trained chef.
The meal is a full-on Christmas dinner. I do the cheffing, the food prep – it takes around eight hours before we sit down to eat.
This year we got there at 8am, because we have to carry all the gear in and set up a parachute above us to deflect the wind and rain.
We had beef, pork, chickens – everything. Mashed potatoes, boiled, roasted.. Even pigs in blankets.
Each little thing has its own cooking time – its hard going.
The hardest thing is fire control, because you havent got any temperature nobs like on a hob.
And people have certain needs. Some people are vegetarians, or they cant eat certain things.
This is our fourth year and everyone loves it. Its great.
Cooking nice food out in the woodland is always quite special, but cooking a full-on Christmas dinner is brilliant.
Previously, Paul worked as an engineer but gave in his full time job last year to become a bush-craft instructor.
Now he runs outdoor survival classes and regularly cooks for growing crowds in forests around Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
But his annual Christmas dinner has become a surprise hit – swelling to 35 hungry guests to feed this year.
Quartet of crostini (garlic mushroom, brie and cranberry, Parma ham and goats cheese and salmon and cucumber)
Pork, beef or chicken with pigs in blankets
Mashed, boiled and roast potatoes
Honey roast carrots and parsnips
Brussels sprouts, green beans, fire roasted onions
Mince pies and cream
Paul said: A group of us visit the same site each month but coming up to Christmas we get together for a special festive dinner.
Some people even say its better than the Christmas dinner they cook at home.
The numbers grow each year, everyone is amazed at how we not only cook the Christmas dinner in the woods, but do it in bad weather too, as it often rains.
Its about keeping these skills alive. You can light a fire by rubbing sticks together and cook a meal – we used to live like this for many, many years.
Paul has been cooking since a child when his granddad took him foraging in nearby countryside.
He learnt how to build shelters, make fires and even how to hunt.
Its those memories of his childhood that inspired him to teach wilderness skills to the general public.
Paul said: We do things in different ways.
Weve got dutch ovens, mainly for the meat. Chicken is cooked on a spit-roast and in the dutch oven.
Then we have an underground oven that has fire in there. We put the meat in and cover it over.
Its very much a team effort.
Paul currently runs several bush-craft and wilderness skills group online and has even been invited to cook for weddings or parties.
Paul said: We get a lot of city people, from London, who need to get away from the hustle and bustle so they come up north.
Ive always done bush-craft and camping since I was young. My passion developed from there.
Its about trying to bring these two things together – you want people to be more adventurous.
Often Ill see people going out there and cooking Super Noodles and sausage on a stick, so we do bread-making and proper cooking.
Youre building the shelters, out in the woods, out there on your own – its about self-reliance.
We go every month of the year – were like an extended family and its a range of ages.
I cook all over the UK. I work in Leicestershire and we run courses there on campfire cooking, but the place I go to every month is in Nottingham in a huge woodland.
I get invited out all the time to cook and do demonstrations.