If you’re a kid, nothing signals the start of the Christmas season more than opening up the first door on your advent calendar. A long standing tradition of Christmas, the humble advent calendar has certainly come a long way from the days when just a simple Christmas image was revealed behind each door. Nowadays you’ll find an advent calendar to suit almost every interest, with increasingly higher value ‘gifts’ behind each door. From gin to tea, and lipgloss to lego, advent calendars are becoming increasingly popular and more extravagant.
I had always assumed that the advent calendar had been a relatively recent tradition possibly dating back to the 60’s 70’s, and had always included chocolate or other little trinkets. Since moving to the UK I’ve discovered this wasn’t always the case. In fact, advent calendars have been helping count the days until Christmas for nearly 125 years. The introduction of chocolate calendars most likely started in America in the late 1950’s, but apparently they took a lot longer to catch on over here than they did there. I’ve had a few friends here mention to me that they didn’t have chocolate advent calendars when they were younger – just the paper picture ones. I’m not sure whether this was true for everyone in the UK back then, or whether my friends were just really missing out on all that chocolate.
Either way, there’s no need to feel cheated this year as I’ve chosen a fabulous selection of chocolate advent calendars geared specifically towards adults. Why should the kids get all the fun?
1. For the Minimalist
The Amelia Rope Pale Collection contains 24 delectable handmade chocolate cubes carefully hand wrapped in pastel foils, and placed in a handmade box with customised ribbon woven in the UK. The solid chocolate cubes are made using Ecuadorian single origin milk chocolate which is guaranteed to be amongst the smoothest chocolate you’ll ever have. The box contains six flavours; Lime & Sea Salt, Coffee Bean, Rose, Mandarin, Lemon & Sea Salt, and Milk Chocolate. The cubes are infused with organic oils, and studded with Maldon Sea Salt or a single coffee bean. The flavours are subtle and well blended, making each chocolate cube a truly wonderful experience. My favourites are the Lime & Sea Salt and Coffee Bean, with the Rose following close behind. The Pale Collection isn’t actually an advent calendar, but I chose to feature it as one because I think it’s a great modern and stylish alternative. I absolutely love the brightly coloured foils, and think it would make fantastic feature sitting on a desk or the counter. If you feel it necessary to have the chocolates numbered, a sharpie marker over top of the foil would do the trick. Available online, the Amelia Rope Pale Collection retails for £29.
2. For the Traditionalist
The 2015 Godiva Chocolate Advent Calendar has a fantastic assortment of chocolates made up of 16 different flavours. It’s the only calendar in my top 5 to include a mixture of white, milk and dark chocolates. It’s also the only calendar to include a bonus chocolate for Christmas Day. Praline fillings feature heavily with this calendar which I see as a good thing since I love it. There’s also a good selection of other fillings including white chocolate passionfruit ganache, caramel with raspberry, and gooey caramel. My favourites were the dark chocolate & passionfruit ganache and the crunchy praline one. I loved the traditional bright and colourful design of this calendar. The playful little elves certainly make it feel fun and Christmassy, but not too childish. The Godiva Chocolate Advent Calendar is available online and retails for £23
3. For the Couple (or the Single Glutton)
The Hotel Chocolate Truffles for Two advent calendar is the only advent calendar I’ve come across specifically designed for two people. Holding 48 assorted deliciously moorish milk and dark mini truffles, it’s also the only advent calendar to feature festive flavours which include Nutmeg Almond Praline, Pecan Gingerbread, Mulled Wine, and Cinnamon Praline as well as more traditional flavours of Salted Caramel Cream, Raspberry & Hibiscus, Dark Gianduja, Milk Praline. The Truffles for Two advent calendar is sophisticated with a simple yet stylish design that comes folded like a book. Once open it could easily take centre stage on a Christmas mantle. My favourites are the Nutmeg Almond Praline, Salted Caramel Cream and the Cinnamon Praline. The Hotel Chocolate Truffles for Two is available online or in Hotel Chocolate boutiques and retails for £26.
4. For the Kid at Heart
The Carluccio’s Advent Calendar contains 24 foiled chocolates in fun designs such as Santas, ladybirds, and bunnies. Each chocolate is made up of either solid milk chocolate, or filled with a delectable gianduja chocolate filling. With it’s funky art deco packaging, and the surprise element of finding a new chocolate character hiding behind each door, this advent calendar is sure to make you feel like a kid at heart. The Carluccio’s Advent Calendar retails for £11.95 and is available online and in Carluccio’s restaurants.
5. For the Sentimentalist
The Paul 2015 Christmas Advent Calendar is made up of 24 individual sturdy cardboard drawers arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree. Pull out each drawer using the red satin ribbon pulls, and you’ll find a chocolate truffle with a silky smooth centre PLUS a cute little ceramic Christmas charm. Each charm has a small opening so that you can run a ribbon through it and hang them on your Christmas tree. My favourite is the penguin and the Santa Clause. I know my son will love the both the chocolates and the charms, and will come to love the tradition of hanging each charm on his own little Christmas tree that sits in his room. The Paul 2015 Christmas Advent Calendar retails for £19.95 and is available at all Paul locations and online
I love that each of these advent calendars offers something unique and different. Have you chosen an advent calendar for yourself this year?
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I received the above advent calendars for review. All opinions are my own.