Originating in 19th-century Germany, one of the best treats of the holiday season is the Advent calendar. Each of the 24 days of Advent leading up to Christmas offers the thrill of discovering a miniature present behind a door on the calendar. Here are seven of the most attractive, delicious Advent calendars containing truffles, chocolate, vegan chocolate alternatives or alcoholic delights.
Love Cocoa calendar, £22.50
Love Cocoa was founded by James Cadbury, great-great-great grandson of John Cadbury who set up Cadbury, the much-loved British chocolate company almost 200 years ago. The 24 flavors of the chocolate squares and truffles inside include enticing gin and tonic dark chocolate and raspberry champagne truffles. This calendar is also an excellent ethical choice as its 100% plastic free and recyclable, with all ingredients sourced from British suppliers. The chocolate itself is manufactured in a family-run British factory that sources fair trade and organic cocoa from farmers in Columbia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. For every calendar sold, three new trees will be planted in Northern Cameroon, in partnership with Trees for the Future.
Melt, a chocolatier whose chocolate kitchens and shops are based in Notting Hill, has created a delicious tribute to the area, an Advent calendar showing the area’s famous colorful historic houses. Behind the doors of the pretty pastel façade are 24 individual houses, each filled with delicious, bespoke chocolates. Melt is known for its unusual flavors like passion fruit and mango, pistachio and praline or yuzu and ginger so the calendar is certain to reveal similar surprises. The dark chocolates contain at least 70% cocoa while the milk chocolates include 38%. Environmentally friendly, Melt House Advent Calendar is completely plastic-free.
For a beautiful, eco-friendly Advent calendar that can be used year after year, a wooden version from one of London’s oldest shops is sure to please. Decorated with Fortnum & Mason’s iconic Piccadilly facade, this sturdy calendar features 24 spaces with small numbered doors hiding an array of sweet delicacies and treats, including Fortnum’s milk chocolate coins, foiled milk chocolate balls, Santa’s and snowmen and natural fruit pectin jellies. It’s also available in an unfilled version so you can add your own treats.
Ladurée calendar, £35
The advent calendar from beloved French patisserie Ladurée features a pretty rendering of the famous Parisian tea room façade and inside is the special Christmas-inspired decor of one of their restaurants. Behind each of the 24 windows there’s a chocolate or sweet: caramel bonbons, nougats, flavored chocolates, calissons and more.
Pure Heavenly Vegan calendar, £7.95
Pure Heavenly has created a low sugar (less than 2%) vegan milk chocolate Advent calendar in six attractive designs. It has replaced milk with rice cream for a creamy chocolate. The company was founded by Stephen Conway who has successfully combined his passion for nutrition and chocolate to create a product that has all the taste of silky milk chocolate but without the dairy, gluten, soy, GMO and palm oil, often found in standard chocolate. According to Mr Conway, a chocolate bar from Pure Heavenly has less than two grams of sugar in contrast to the leading bar of chocolate in the UK with 55g of sugar which is more than half the bar.
With plenty of Alcoholic Advent calendars to choose from, the calendar from Cheshire-based Riverside Spirits, is one of the most appealing. Behind the attractive exterior are 24 mini bottles of five cl bottles of the full range of the company’s liqueurs. Gluten free and vegan friendly, the delicious flavors include all the spirits such as rose vodka shimmer liqueur, gunpowder whisky liqueur, fig rum liqueur, passion fruit gin liqueur, sloe gin liqueur and many more.
Whisky Advent Calendar, 149.95
The Whisky Advent Calendar from Drinks by the Dram offers the chance to try 24 intriguing releases from around the globe. The 30ml bottles are from 22 distilleries from five countries, including all sorts of styles, from single malt, blended whisky, rye and more. The calendar will reveal Glenfarclas 15 Year Old, Laphroaig Triple Wood, Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask, Brenne Cuvée Spéciale French Single Malt Whisky, The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask and Isle of Jura 18 Year Old, to name a few.
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