Christmas 2019: 10 best chocolate advent calendars for adults that are too good to share with kids
Guzzle the finest truffles and nibble on the cutest animal-shaped chocolates this festive season
Don’t let the kids have all the fun! These festive treats are exclusively for grown ups.
But what makes these advent calendar’s adult? Good question. We were on the lookout for chocs too posh to waste on childish palettes. Anything boozy or with a particularly high percentage of cocoa grabbed our attention. Think pretty pralines, ganaches to leave you feeling giddy and tasty truffles.
We were less concerned with cheap chocolate in festive shapes and more on the hunt for beautifully designed artisanal daily treats. You’d be forgiven for thinking this sounds expensive but our roundup starts at a very respectable £5 (and it’s Fairtrade to boot) through to a £50 option that is absolutely worth every penny.
So whether you’re looking for the perfect calendar to grace your own mantelpiece this Christmas, or looking to gift the chocolate lover in your life, we’re confident we’ve found the best chocolate advent calendars for adults for 2019.
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Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse hexagonal advent calendar, 160g: £38.84, Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse
If you can’t indulge in fancy chocolate at Christmas when on earth can you? Alain Ducasse chocolate was, for so long only available in Paris, so we were delighted when it opened up shop in Kings Cross and online.
This new hexagonal design has been illustrated by artist Agathe Singer who’s known for her use of watercolours, flora and fauna. She’s depicted a colourful jungle scene which may not feel very festive but is intended to take you on a “journey to the centre of the cocoa jungle”.
Inside some of the chocolates continue the hexagonal theme with a mix of dark and milk chocolate disks, sugar coated almonds, praline bonbons, mini chocolate bars and on the 24th day an extra special treat which we’ll let you discover for yourself. Beautiful art and decadent chocolate? We’re sold.
COCO advent calendar, 480g: £50, Ocado
Ethically sourced and sustainable, behind each beautifully designed door you’ll find a mini bar of single origin chocolate. There are four flavours – dark and milk chocolate from Columbia, salted caramel, and our favourite, dark chocolate made with a pinch of sea salt from waters of the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Based in Edinburgh, all COCO chocolate is palm oil free and fully traceable back to source, with the dark chocolate bars vegan and the rest veggie friendly. This brand works with artists to design all its modern packaging, and we think this minimalist black, white and gold design is certainly grown up enough to have on your mantelpiece this Christmas.
Hotel Chocolat the grand advent calendar, 1040g: £68, Hotel Chocolat
Can’t choose between chocolate or booze? You can have both with this ultra decadent collection of Hotel Chocolat’s best bits. This whopper of a calendar is double sided and features the brand’s award-winning salted caramel vodka liqueur and cocoa gin, festive flavoured truffles – clementine, cinnamon and Christmas mess being our favourites – as well as little packets of chocolate puddles and slabs. One thing's for sure, you won’t get bored with this varied selection.
Lily O’Brien’s advent calendar house, 390g: £25, Lily O’Brien’s
Keeping things traditional, this cute little house may look like something kids would play with but the contents are anything but childish. There are just four flavours across the 25 days but these are the brands most popular, and to make up for the repetition it has a whopping 28 chocolates in total (you get extra on the big day!).
Sticky toffee is a combination of caramel, milk and dark chocolate, “le crunch” has crispy biscuit pieces thrown into the mix and the milk chocolate truffle is a real crowd-pleaser. However, it’s the chocolate orange ganache which felt most festive. And once you’re finished with it, you could easily replenish and use again next year – or let the kids play with it after all.
Montezuma’s chocolate truffle advent calendar, 360g: £24.99, Montezuma’s
With cute polar bears and snowmen frolicking on the front, again, this one doesn’t have the most grown up facade but don’t let that fool you. Montezuma’s advent calendar, which is brand new for 2019, opens up in a book design and is packed full of chocolate truffles in various delicious flavours.
Throughout the month, you’ll find one of five flavours from the small, family-run British chocolatier – dark chocolate, milk with hazelnut praline, a coffee spiked truffle, dark chocolate with fragrant vanilla and lastly a more summery white chocolate with raspberry, all of which are prettily finished with swirls and coatings.
Divine 70% dark chocolate advent calendar, 222g: £5, Waitrose
Fairtrade chocolate for under a fiver? You betcha. Divine chocolate is, as the name suggests, quite delicious and this all-dark advent calendar is rich, decadent and super smooth. Not only does the contents taste oh-so grown up, a percentage of profits goes directly back to the cocoa farmers.
The brand also supports projects that empower women, improve farming techniques, and help protect the rainforest – what could be more festive than a charitable donation to leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy. Perfect for dark chocolate lovers and also vegans.
Quality Street advent calendar, 229g: £5, Sainsburys
These chocolates a Christmas classic for a reason. Cheap and cheerful, we’re all familiar with Quality Street’s iconic flavours. And while we all have a favourite colour that we gravitate to in the tin (the purple one if you’re asking) the calendar adds an element of surprise. In true Russian-roulette style, these calendars have been filled at random, so no two will be the same.
There are 24 windows to open, behind which you might be treated to the green triangle, a strawberry delight, the chocolate toffee fingers or another from the rest of the collection.
Godiva advent calendar, 175g: £19.95, Harvey Nichols
Belgian chocolatier Godiva has gone with a traditional theme for this year’s advent calendar, complete with a posh townhouse decked out in fairy lights and a fresh coating of snow. The chocolate has been crafted into white, milk and dark snowmen, penguins and Father Christmas shapes, however they’re filled with either hazelnut praline or chocolate ganache, so definitely best saved for the grown ups.
Fortnum's truffle selection advent calendar, 250g: £35, Fortnum & Mason
Housed in a sleek streamlined red box, this advent calendar opens up like a book to reveal a Fortnum’s Christmas tree complete with baubles. Behind each of the 24 doors is a chocolate truffle with festive flavours including Christmas spice butter biscuit, Christmas pudding, chocolate orange, pecan and maple syrup and the most decadent truffle of all – Marc de Champagne. We only wish our actual Christmas tree with decked with chocolate baubles.
Chococo vegan advent selection box, 375g: £24.50, Chococo
If you’re less bothered about the little cardboard windows and more concerned about the contents, you’ll love this chocolate box from award-winning British artisan chocolatier, Chococo. This box contains 25 vegan chocolates, seven of which are completely new flavours for 2019 – including spiced rum, Mexican chilli and Christmas cluster with candied orange and cardamom.
A numbered frosted sleeve sits over the chocolates, telling you which to have on each day of December (they’re so fresh they need to be kept in the fridge and eaten in this order). You’ll find each flavour is repeated once but we’ll have to try them all again to decide if our favourite was the seasonal tawny port and fig or the date and cognac.
The verdict: Chocolate advent calendars for adults
For us, Alain Ducasse makes the best chocolate bar none. We loved the element of surprise hidden behind each door – would today be a praline bonbon or a mini chocolate bar? Add to that a truly beautiful hexagonal design and this deservedly won our best buy. However, if you’re looking for something a little friendlier on the purse, Divine deserves your fiver for its cracking charity offer.
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