Traditional chocolate advent calendars are a rightful staple of the Christmas season, but in 2019, simply having chocolate behind each calendar door seems a little, well…boring.
These days, there are all sorts of advent calendars that you can purchase for the countdown to Christmas. If you enjoy a tipple at Christmastime, pick a gin advent calendar. Partial to a Jacob’s cracker during winter? Get yourself a cheese advent calendar. Or maybe you’re more of a gourmet snack kind of person – a popcorn advent calendar it is, or perhaps an artisanal marshmallow variety? What we’re trying to say is that when it comes to the best advent calendars for food and drink lovers in 2019, the possibilities are endless.
To stop you from feeling overwhelmed, we’ve rounded up the best non-traditional advent calendars we can find, suiting a range of tastes, styles and budget. Move aside chocolate, it’s time for some other food and drink to get the glory.
Bailey's advent calendars
You can get just about every kind of boozy advent calendar nowadays, from beer to gin, they've thought of it all, so it makes sense to include perhaps the most hearty and Christmassy drink of them all in the advent calendar trend. Here are a few of this years Baileys advent calendars.
Asda Baileys 12 Day Christmas Advent Calendar
What: This Baileys advent calendar features 12 mini bottles of the rich and creamy Christmassy drink in three different flavours. Each day you’ll be surprised by either original Irish cream, Baileys coffee or orange. What a way to start your morning.
How much: £20
B&M Baileys Advent Calendar
What: Tired of all boozy advent calendars involving gin? Well, this £5 bargain calendar features a 50ml bottle of festive tipple Baileys, as well as 24 chocolate squares to feast on. Chocolate and a creamy drink of Baileys? Sounds like a perfect Christmas to us.
How much: £4.99 (in-store purchase only)
Cheese advent calendars
Cheese is love, cheese is life. For some bizarre reason, cheese advent calendars haven’t taken off quite as much as boozy or sweet varieties, but we’ve still managed to find some to satisfy your cheese cravings this Christmas.
Ilchester Cheese Advent Calendar
What: Featuring 24 individually wrapped cheeses, this advent calendar is the stuff dreams are made of (and possibly nightmares after consumption). Behind each door, you’ll find the likes of Red Leicester and Applewood, alongside some cheesy jokes to keep you entertained.
How much: £21.99
Buy the Ilchester Cheese Advent Calendar
Aldi’s Emporium Selection Advent Cheese Calendar
What: Aldi’s cheese advent calendar is (frustratingly) currently only available in the US, but we’re hoping it will make its way to these shores soon. Featuring 24 festive mini cheeses, the selection includes Gouda, Red Leicester and Edam.
How much: $14.99
Food advent calendars
Let’s be real, you’ll probably eat enough chocolate on Christmas Day to fulfil your yearly allowance. So you might as well swap out the chocs for something different in the run-up to Christmas. Whether it’s pork scratching’s or popcorn, our pick of food advent calendars should have something to suit your taste.
Selfridges' Festive Mince Pie Advent Calendar
What: Mince pie lovers, rejoice, there’s an advent calendar on sale with your name on it. This luxury number from Selfridges reveals a mini mince pie inside every drawer, with variations including classic, almond, chocolate or citrus-topped creations. For the big day itself there’s a handmade mini Christmas cake crafted by master bakers in the Cotswolds. And everything is made in individual sizes, so happily absolutely no reason to share.
How much: £39.99
Buy the Festive Mince Pie Advent Calendar from the 25th October in store
The Naked Marshmallow Co Advent Calendar
What: Change up the traditional chocolate for some gooey marshmallow for this year’s Christmas countdown. Naked Marshmallow Co’s version features one of six flavours behind each door, with varieties you’ll come across including mint choc chip and salted caramel.
How much: £17.50
Buy The Naked Marshmallow Co Advent Calendar
Jo & Seph’s Popcorn Advent Calendar
What: If you prefer a little bit of crunch to kick start your day, check out this advent calendar from posh popcorn purveyors Jo & Seph. Each day, you’ll enjoy one of 12 flavours, with options including caramel and Belgian chocolate, and toffee apple and cinnamon.
How much: £25
Buy Jo & Seph's Popcorn Advent Calendar
Poilâne Advent Calendar
What: The first ever advent calendar from upmarket bakery Poilâne depicts a gorgeous drawing of its original bakery in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, drawn by Alex Charrier. Inside, you’ll find biscuits, nougat, shortbread and of course chocolates to enjoy up until Christmas.
How much: £32
Buy Poilâne's Advent Calendar
Curry Legend Advent Calendar
What: If you’re a lover of all things spice, skip the chocolate and check out Curry Legend’s advent calendar. Behind each door, you’ll find a recipe for a delicious Indian dish, as well as bags of spice blends to include in your creation – perfect for festive entertaining.
How much: £29
Buy Curry Legend Advent Calendar
Munchkings Christmas Advent Calendar
What: If you’re not so nutty about chocolate, you can keep things savoury instead with Munchkings nut-based calendar. Expect to crunch on the likes of chilli coated peanuts, smoked almonds and smoked paprika coated peanuts all the way until Christmas Eve.
How much: £29.99
Buy Munchkings Christmas Advent Calendar
Snaffling Pig Merry Piggin’ Christmas Pork Crackling Advent Calendar
What: As advent calendars go, this one’s pretty niche. But if you’re a lover of pork crackling, you’ll find six different flavours in Snaffling Pig’s offering, which includes Pigs in Blankets, Low & Slow BBQ and Perfectly Salted varieties.
How much: £17.50
Buy Snaffling Pig Merry Piggin' Christmas Pork Crackling Advent Calendar
The Protein Ball Co. Advent Calendar
What: Ideal for the gym bunny in your life, this calendar features 24 different kinds of protein ball, with flavours such as raspberry brownie and peanut butter and jam. On Christmas Eve, you’ll be rewarded with a special edition Christmas flavoured ball.
How much: £19.99
Buy The Protein Ball Co. Advent Calendar
Ladurée Advent Calendar
What: If you want to keep things traditional, but prefer luxury choc to a high-street alternative, try out Ladurée’s advent calendar. The Christmas countdown here features caramels, nougats and calissons alongside the ordinary plain chocolate treats.
How much: £32
Buy Ladurée Advent Calendar
Forntum & Mason Feasting Advent Calendar
What: Fortnum’s doesn’t do things by halves, so it’s no surprise that its Feasting Advent Calendar is filled with top-shelf foodstuffs. Festive treats to discover include salted caramel hot chocolate, pistachio and clotted cream biscuits, and rose petal jelly.
How much: £200
Buy Fortnum & Mason Feasting Advent Calendar
Biscuiteers Limited-Edition Advent Calendar
What: There’s no denying that Biscuiteers’ advent calendar is on the pricey side. Nevertheless, your £175 will get you a Sophie Conran designed fabric calendar that you can use year after year, and 24 truly gorgeous biscuits which have been iced by hand.
How much: £175
Buy Biscuiteers Limited-Edition Advent Calendar
Kellog’s 12 Days of Cereal Advent Calendar
What: Instead of marking the entire advent period, Kellog’s has decided to focus on the 12 Days of Christmas instead. Behind each door, you’ll find a bowlful of cereal to enjoy from its extensive range and they even throw in a branded cereal bowl to enjoy them from.
How much: £20
Buy Kellog's 12 Days of Cereal Advent Calendar
Loacker's Advent Calendar
What: Wafer a minute, who’d have thought of making a wafer-based advent calendar? Well, Loacker have gone and done it. Expect to open the doors and find varieties such as dark chocolate wafers, white coconut wafers and minis vanille.
How much: £14
Buy Loacker's Advent Calendar
Drinks advent calendars
If you prefer liquid pleasures to foodstuffs, pick from one of these drinks-focused advent calendars instead. Ranging from calendars filled with herbal tea infusions to ones featuring 24 different kinds of gin, these boozy advent calendars will have you sipping pretty all the way until Christmas Day.
Pukka Herbal Tea Advent Calendar
What: Every British person knows that a good cup of tea is the answer to all of life’s problems. Pukka’s Herbal Tea calendar will see you all the way through to Christmas Eve, with infusions including vanilla chai, peppermint and liquorice, and supreme matcha green.
How much: £9.99
Buy Pukka Herbal Tea Advent Calendar
Prosecco O Clock Advent Calendar
What: This rather elaborate advent calendar features Prosecco, Cava, Brut and more. You can pick your miniature bottle from each ‘hour’ on the clock, while the wooden structure can be used year after year (although refilling the bottles will be down to you).
How much: £109.95
Buy Prosecco O Clock Advent Calendar
Drinks by the Dram Tequila Advent Calendar
What: If you are (or you know of) a serious Tequila fan, this advent calendar is a must-buy. Featuring 30ml Tequila pours behind each door, the calendar will allow you to sip on the likes of Don Julio 1942 and Casamigos Anejo.
How much: £149.95
Buy Drinks by the Dram Tequila Advent Calendar
Tipsy Advent Tree Calendar
What: Shaped like a Christmas tree, this advent calendar for grownups features 24 miniature bottles or red, white, rose and wine. Mulled wine also makes an appearance for an extra special festive touch, while the calendar can be brought out every year or used as a Christmas decoration.
How much: £85
Buy Tipsy Advent Tree Calendar
Beer advent calendars
If you, or someone you love, is obsessed with beer, we’re happy to report that there’s an advent calendar for that. Our pick of the best beer advent calendars for 2019 feature some of the best beers from all over the world – cheers to that!
HonestBrew Beer Advent Calendar
What: Featuring 24 beers in 14 different styles, this calendar from HonestBrew is a great way of expanding your beer knowledge. For real beer lovers, the calendar also features three limited-edition collaborations and 12 brews which are exclusive to the calendar.
How much: £74.90
Buy HonestBrew Beer Advent Calendar
The Snaffling Pig Co Beer and Pork Crackling Advent Calendar
What: Few things pair better with beer than pork crackling. The Snaffling Pig Co’s calendar combines 12 cans of Snaffling Pig beer with 12 pork crackling bags, boasting tempting flavours such as Perfectly Salted and Marvellous Maple.
How much: £65
Buy The Snaffling Pig Co Beer and Pork Crackling Advent Calendar
John Lewis Craft Beer Advent Calendar
What: One for real beer aficionados, this advent calendar features 24 bottled beers, with a nice mix of lagers and pale ales. Discover the likes of pumpkin ale, a spiced stout and a smooth Irish ale from some of the best brewers around the UK.
How much: £75
Buy John Lewis Craft Beer Advent Calendar
Beer Countdown Advent Calendar
What: Wrapped up like a big Christmas present sitting under the tree, this countdown calendar features 24 bottles of beer for you to discover. Names you’ll find on the list of full-sized cans include Ghost Ship, Triple Knot and Mosaic Pale Ale.
How much: £94.95
Buy Beer Countdown Advent Calendar
World Beer Advent Calendar
What: Celebrating beers from across the world, this advent calendar has sourced and pulled together 24 different kinds of beer from across the globe. While counting down to Christmas Day, you’ll sip on Moosehead Canadian Lager, Peroni Red and Stella Artois.
How much: £60
Buy World Beer Advent Calendar
First 4 Hampers’ Beer Advent Calendar
What: This tartan-splashed celebration of beer includes 24 beers in cans and bottles to choose from. There are plenty of varieties to enjoy too, such as Sonnet 43 Seraphim Blonde Beer, Spey Valley Brewery Sailor Terry Rum Spiced Stout and Bourbon Milk Stout.
How much: £65
Buy First 4 Hampers' Beer Advent Calendar
Gin advent calendars
Gin has had quite the renaissance in recent years, becoming one of the most popular orders at bars up and down the country. The nation’s obsession with gin has even extended to the Christmas countdown, with gin advent calendars in high demand. Check out some of this year’s best offerings below.
Ginvent Advent Calendar
What: Gin advent calendars were among the first to break away from the traditional chocolate variety, and for that, we are forever grateful. In this creation by Gin Foundry, you’ll find 24 30ml drams of the good stuff, with flavours ranging from lavender to rhubarb and ginger.
How much: £157.45
Buy Ginvent Advent Calendar
B&M 12 Gins & Tonics Advent Calendar
What: The festive season is one of the few times when it’s considered somewhat acceptable to drink before midday. Although we’d recommend waiting until the evening to fully enjoy B&M’s G&T calendar, which features 12 different Gin & Tonics to enjoy on the sofa.
How much: £34.99
Buy B&M 12 Gins & Tonics Advent Calendar
That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar
What: Fancy trying out 24 different kinds of gin without having to splash out on expensive bottles? This advent calendar is the solution to your problem, featuring 30ml drams of top gins. Sip on the likes of Pink Gin, Cherry Gin and Pineapple Gin.
How much: £49.95
Buy That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar
B&M Gordon’s Gin Advent Calendar
What: If you like the look of a gin advent calendar but don’t want to spend too much, check out this affordable option. It features 24 squares of chocolate like normal calendars, but on Christmas Day you’ll be rewarded with a 50ml bottle of Gordon’s Pink Gin – cheers to that!
How much: £4.99 (in-store purchase only)
Bombay Sapphire Advent Calendar
What: ‘Let the good times be-gin’ declares this fun artic blue calendar. Featuring 24 chocolate squares leading up to the big day and a 50ml bottle of Bombay Sapphire when you arrive at Christmas Day, this pocket-friendly calendar is lots of fun.
How much: £4.99 (in-store purchase only)
If you’re planning a Christmas party for your friends, family or office, check out our Christmas parties page for tonnes of venue inspiration.