As Christmas traditions go, this must be one of the strangest and perhaps the smelliest going.
Chelsea Pensioners this week celebrated the Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses, an annual ritual dating back more than 300 years.
The veterans tucked into a stonking 269kg of cheese donated by 27 producers from across Britain, which they washed down with 120 bottles of Vintage Ale courtesy of Chiswick brewer Fuller's.
Chelsea Pensioner Derek Walters took centre stage this year after being chosen to ceremonially slice open a 24.75kg Montgomery cheddar with a sword.
"It is an honour to represent my fellow Chelsea Pensioners today – cheese has always been an important part of our diet and we are always very happy to receive this delicious Christmas gift. The military is known for its traditions, but this is one of my favourites," said the 82-year-old.
The ceremony, which took place at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on Tuesday (December 1), wasn't all about food and drink.
Charlotte Jaconelli, 2012 Britain's Got Talent runner-up, entertained the pensioners with stirring renditions of Pie Jesu and I Could Have Danced All Night, accompanied by the Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra.
The ceremony, today coordinated by The Dairy Council, dates back to the founding of the Royal Hospital in 1692 when a local cheesemonger made a Christmas donation to the 'Red Breasts of Chelsea'.