The most important meaning of Advent? It had to be the fact that you get to start each and every day with chocolate and not feel the least bit guilty. So don’t waste those 24 precious mornings on lumps of crappy confectionary; instead, opt for a calendar which contains something far finer. Count down to Christmas with one of the following five and you’ll be full of good cheer – and even better chocolate.
1. Best for origin obsessives: Original Beans Advent Calendar
This calendar really is the money – using the traditional stocking favourite of chocolate coins as the currency with which to count down to Chrimbo. Conceptualised by truffle master Karin Ebelsberger, the calendar contains the full range of Original Beans’s single-origin specimens, taking you on a tasty December journey whose destination is cocoa cloud nine. As a bonus, detailed tasting notes mean you learn a little along the way, too.
- Original Beans’ Advent Calendar costs £34. For more information and to order, click here
2. Best for heirloom value: Paul a Young Advent Village
Nostalgia is behind some of Paul a Young’s most sensational creations – including this super-cute village. Bang on-trend for anyone looking to evoke a few hygge vibes for their household, the calendar comprises 24 little wooden houses, each one home to a truffle or caramel. Available in a strictly limited-edition run, this is one to roll out year after year; indeed, you might never be inclined to pack it away at all.
- Paul a Young’s Advent Village costs £75. For more information and to order, click here
3. Best for couples: Hotel Chocolat’s Advent for Two
The fact that each pair of baby truffles within the windows comprise two of the same variety handily eliminates arguments with your other half over who got the short straw. From gingerbread pralines to HC’s signature super-tangy fruit centres, there’s something to suit each and every palate. The only thing you need to agree on is a mutual time for consumption, lest an over-eager early bird catches both advent calendar chocs…
- Hotel Chocolat’s Advent for Two costs £26. For more information and to order, click here
4. Best for the greedy: Artisan du Chocolat Spirit of Christmas
Used to mourning on Christmas morning because your advent calendar chocs are no more? No more – Artisan du Chocolate’s 2016 offering features not only 24 drawers of caramels, truffles and bon bons, but also an extra treat for the 25th. And what a treat: a full-sized box of assorted truffles perfect for seeing you through stocking-opening time. You might care to share, but it’s more likely that you won’t.
- Artisan du Chocolat’s Spirit of Christmas calendar costs £39.99. For more information and to order, click here
5. Best for funky flavours: Chococo Advent Box
Chocolatier Clare Burnett has won countless awards for her Dorset-based company’s highly-creative creations, and Chococo’s Advent offering showcases 25 of the best. As calendars go, it’s a classy affair – more akin to a box of luxury chocs than a Christmas novelty. Festive flavours for the hand-made, spankingly-fresh truffles include Mulled Wine, Fizzy Pudding, Mince Pie and Tawny Fig.
- Chococo’s Advent Box costs £21.95. For more information and to order, click here