Sleigh the Christmas chocolate advent calendar game this year and discover new lesser-known labels at the same time.
Instead of heading to your local supermarket and nabbing the same calendar you buy each year, make this festive period special by opting for an advent off the beaten track.
From the now cult Tony’s Chocolonely to independent chocolatiers like Chococo, you can make the countdown to Christmas that extra bit more exciting where you’ll never know what new flavour is next. We just hope you have some sort of elf control (sorry) to actually stop after your first taste.
For those who can’t eat dairy or choose not to, we haven’t forgotten you. In fact, quite the opposite. The ever-growing market of free from chocolates has paved the way for one of the most extensive vegan advent offerings yet, so there’s no need to miss out on the fun.
Here are our favourite advent calendars for Christmas 2021 in descending price order.
Montezuma’s Truffle Advent Calendar
If you’ve not yet sampled one of Montezuma’s moreish truffles, you’re in for a treat. The brand’s excels in its truffle selection and you can dine out on each flavour in the lead up to Christmas. Each day, you’ll be surprised with either a classic rich, dark chocolate, salted dulce de leche caramel or creamy chocolate ball where the exterior shell reveals an oozing centre.
Joe & Seph's Popcorn Advent Calendar
When it comes to popcorn, few do it better than Joe & Seph’s. The artisanal family-run label use real ingredients to craft its flavours - each of which is as delicious as the last. The gourmet popcorn is handmade and air-popped in the brand’s North London kitchens where the ever-growing range boasts over 60 varieties. In this calendar, you will sample 19 of them including the hugely popular salted caramel and the milk chocolate bites.
Pierre Marcolini ‘Magical Mountain’ advent calendar
Behind this suitably festive snowy mountain scene, you’ll find an advent sure to delight. A total of 24 windows reveal delightful creations including the brand’s signature Pralinés Anciens as well as the hearts, gianduja bells and many more of the classics that Pierre Marcolini is known and loved for.
£49 | Pierre Marcolini *Available from November 5
Chococo Advent Selection Boxes for 2021
Independent chocolatier Chococo has packed its handcrafted bestseller chocolates as well as new exclusive flavours into an advent calendar. The Dorset-based brand has not one but two boxes that have been inspired by Christmas tree baubles. Each one contains 25 chocolates with variations including Cherry Bakewell, Sea Salt Caramel and even Devon’s Salcombe gin with pink grapefruit. The boxes are entirely plastic-free as well as reusable, recyclable and compostable.
£25 | Chococo *Available to pre-order now with last order November 26
Love Cocoa - Luxury Charity Advent Calendar
Ethical chocolate label Love Cocoa is giving back this Christmas - all the profits from its advent calendar will be donated to NHS Charities Together. It is filled with the brand’s luxury truffles in hazelnut praline, dark chocolate ganache, gianduja square and giant rocher. The box is adorned with an illustration of London in Christmas, while the content is free from palm oil. On top of the charitable donation, three trees will be planted with every calendar purchased.
£25 | Love Cocoa *Available to pre-order now
Popcorn Shed Advent Calendars
Reformulating the traditional chocolate Christmas candles, Popcorn Shed has two advents this year – and we can safely say they’re sure to pop off. Both the Gourmet Popcorn Advent Calendar (£20) and Free From VEGAN Mini Pop! Popcorn Advent Calendar (£18) contains 24 bags of the brand’s handmade popcorn behind each of the windows. There are six flavours in the Gourmet, including Salted Caramel, Say Cheese! And Pecan Pie, while in the Free From, there’s a low-calorie selection of vegan, dairy and gluten-free variations including White Truffle, Toffee and Maple Bacon (with a smoky, maple flavour that will delight those missing the real thing).
Tony’s Chocolonely Countdown Calendar
After much pleading from loyal fans, Tony’s has unveiled its first ever advent calendar that has the beloved chocolate concealed within its walls. There are 25 mini versions of the bestsellers including Dark Almonds & Sea Salt and Dark Milk Pretzel Toffee that have been crafted using Fairtrade cocoa and is free from palm oil. The calendar is also made entirely without plastic packaging.
Candy Kittens advent calendar
Candy Kittens has thought up its 2021 advent calendar to boast even more eco-credentials. The brand – who have recently been deemed carbon neutral – has teamed up with TreeSisters to plant one tree for every purchase. The advent itself is a 3D tree that opens to reveal one of the signature Candy Kittens vegan sweets including the new Gourmies range.
Happi Free From advent calendar
Oat milk-based chocolate label Happi Free From has entered the advent sphere with its first ever calendar. The vibrant box is adorned with the brand’s signature design and contains 24 chocolate pieces – all of which have been ethically-sourced without dairy. The packaging is also sustainable.
Swizzels sweet advent calendar
While it is not chocolate, this calendar plays host to a different kind of sugar rush sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. For 2021, Swizzles has gone all out with it Sweet Factory advent after the huge success of its calendar last year. This edition plays host to the brand’s bestsellers including Drumstick Squashies, Refreshers chew bars and Love Hearts.
NOMO Xmas Advent Calendars
If you’re not yet familiar with NOMO, there’s no time like the present. The brand offers free-from vegan chocolates to rival their dairy-filled equivalents. For Christmas 2021, there are two advents on offer; the classic (£5) returns with 24 creamy goodies in flavours like caramel and sea salt chocolate as well as a brand new Premium Caramel Advent Calendar (£10) for an extra special take on the classic calendar. The box packs in 24 gooey caramel treats with a full-sized bar on the big day.