The best chocolate advent calendars for Christmas 2019

Chocolate for 25 days straight? Bring it on.

Updated on 15 November 2019 • Written By Deborah Reda

The best chocolate advent calendars for Christmas 2019

Once upon a time, the only thing you’d find behind an advent calendar’s window or door (a controversial debate for another time) was a picture, which was a little anticlimactic for all involved. Then, one happy day, chocolate advent calendars were invented to turbo-charge the countdown to Christmas for children. Fast forward a few years to the year 2019, when there are more advent calendars marketed at adults than there are at children, the likes of which range from alcohol to coffee and tea, miniature beauty products, stationery and pretty much any other small item you can think of. You can even get one for your pet.  

Now, we’re not sticks in the mud, and certainly aren’t saying that 24 mini bottles of gin in December could ever be a bad thing, but when it comes to the Christmas countdown, we reckon chocolate advent calendars still come up trumps. For that reason, we’ve rounded up the best chocolate advent calendars for 2019, to help make your decision on which one to get that much easier. So go on, leave the kids to their Kinnerton abominations and treat yourself to a chocolate advent calendar worthy of the season.

 

Best dark chocolate advent calendars

Dark chocolate is good for you; that’s what we’re always hearing on the foodie grapevine (which is generally considered to be 100% accurate), so by treating yourself to one of these dark chocolate advent calendars, you’re actually making a healthy lifestyle choice – good for you! These 70%-plus bad boys are also great for anyone looking to cut down their sugar intake and/or avoid dairy, so they’re a great all-rounder. Check ‘em out…

 

Green & Black's

The lowdown: Organic and fairtrade, this chocolate advent calendar from Green & Black's is practically guilt-free! Sleekly packaged and containing dinky versions of its deliciously creamy bars in five varieties – milk, 70% cocoa, 85% cocoa, ginger dark and butterscotch – this one is great for those who prize simplicity and the use of ethical cocoa.

How much: From £12

Where to buy: Various stores, including Tesco

 

Hotel Chocolat

The lowdown: We’ve included quite a few chocolate advent calendars by Hotel Chocolat in our round-up this year, but then that is what these guys do best. Deep and smooth, with rich cacao notes, this 70% advent calendar contains 24 dark chocolate reindeer, snowmen, penguins and enchanted spruces.

How much: £12.50

Where to buy: In-store or online at Hotel Chocolat

 

Divine

The lowdown: Divine exists to help farmers gain a share of the wealth they are helping to create, so even as you savour its range of silky smooth chocolate, you are helping to change the cocoa industry for the better. If there’s a better way to get that warm and fuzzy festive feeling than enjoying a rich dark chocolate woodland creature each day throughout December, we can’t think of it.

How much: £5

Where to buy: In-store or online at Waitrose

 

Prestat

The lowdown: Oh-so-prettily packaged, Prestat’s 2019 dark chocolate advent calendar contains 24 dark chocolate cubes in four flavours: raspberry, pink Himayalan salt, cocoa nibs and roasted almond, and plain 73% dark chocolate. One of London’s oldest chocolate shops and proud owner of two Royal Warrants, Prestat knows a thing or two about good chocolate, so you’re in safe hands with this one.

How much: £19.50

Where to buy: Online at Ocado

 

Montezuma's

The lowdown: Organic, vegan and, most importantly, delicious, Montezuma’s dark chocolate advent calendar is a winner for us. This brand’s 73% dark chocolate is made with the finest quality organic cocoa beans, resulting in the richest, smoothest chocolate imaginable. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you get to look at two cute polar bears building a snowman for 24 days, which is sure to put a smile on your face.

How much: £9.99

Where to buy: Online at Montezuma’s

 

 

Best milk chocolate advent calendars

Milk is good for you; that’s what we’re always hearing on th… Who are we kidding? You’re in this section because you like creamy milk chocolate, which is lucky as we’ve listed some of the best milk chocolate advent calendars in stores and online this year. From the inexpensive to the downright fancy, you’re sure to find a milk chocolate advent calendar you like the look of here.

 

Godiva

The lowdown: The name ‘Godiva’ actually translates to ‘gift from god’, which is rather fitting when talking about the super-fancy Belgian chocolatier. This year, the brand has gone for a traditional snow-capped house design with 24 windows that conceal some of their most indulgent chocolates: milk chocolate carrés and a selection of milk, dark and white sujets filled with hazelnut praline or chocolate ganache.

How much: £20

Where to buy: Online or in-store at John Lewis

 

M&S

The lowdown: The choice between a chocolate advent calendar and a gin advent calendar might be one of the hardest of the festive season, which is why M&S have come up with this totally inspired and excellently-named ‘Gingle all the way’ advent calendar. It contains 24 gin-filled chocolates (12 milk, 12 dark) and a 5cl bottle of gin for the big day. This isn’t just a solution, it’s an M&S solution, and a jolly good one at that.

How much: £10

Where to buy: In-store and online at M&S

 

Lindt Lindor

The lowdown: If Lindt’s Lindor advert gets your mouth watering, then this is the chocolate advent calendar for you. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have a box of Lindor on the go from around mid-November, but there’s something extra special about plucking your very own Lindor chocolate from behind a numbered door each day throughout December. This one is great for those who know their Belgian from their British, but don’t want to spend too much on the Christmas countdown.

How much: £12

Where to buy: Various shops, including Ocado

 

Thorntons

The lowdown: An assortment of milk, white and dark chocolates are hidden behind the doors of this stylish blue and bronze advent calendar from Thorntons, just waiting to be discovered. There are 12 different varieties, including a salted fudge star, nutty caramel, orange crisp and Turkish delight, so if you’re looking to keep on your chocolate-eating toes (that’s a thing), this may well be the advent calendar for you this year.

How much: £15

Where to buy: In-store or online at Thorntons

 

Carluccio’s

The lowdown: Carluccio's brings an Italian twist to their advent calendar this year with delicious milk chocolate bites filled with Gianduja, a creamy hazelnut filling. The packaging is sweet and hides a different character behind each door like Babbo Natale aka Father Christmas. The colours are bright and the cartoons cheerful, perfect for the kids! 

How much: £9.95

Where to buy: Online and in-store at Carluccio's

 

Best white chocolate advent calendars

Super-creamy and tooth-achingly sweet, white chocolate is, quite frankly, delicious. Dentists might not recommend it every day, but we do, which is why we’ve selected some of the best white chocolate advent calendars available this year for your consideration.

 

Cocoapod

The lowdown: Almost too beautiful to eat (almost), these chunky couverture chocolates are a must for white chocolate enthusiasts who also care about stylish design and sustainable cocoa cultivation. Each solid handmade chocolate in this box of 24 sports black and white patterns and a gold number, so the only surprise involved is when (if) you manage to make it to Christmas Eve without cheating.

How much: £24.95

Where to buy: Online at Cocoapod

 

Thorntons

The lowdown: The design is clearly aimed at kids, but the plaque at the bottom that can be personalised screams ‘hilarious adult nickname’ to us. We haven’t tested the patience of the staff in Thorntons stores, but in theory you should be able to commission anything you like to be written in icing on it. Oh, and the actual white chocolate in this advent calendar? delicious.

How much: £6

Where to buy: In-store or online at Thorntons

 

Hotel Chocolat

The lowdown: If you’re one of those people who finds white chocolate too sweet, you should know that unlike most other brands, the main ingredient in Hotel Chocolat’s white chocolate is cacao butter, not sugar. Translation? It’s creamy, melty, and not too sweet. Presuming you’re sold, pick up Hotel Chocolat’s white chocolate advent calendar ASAP and get ready to count down to the big day with 24 white chocolate reindeer, snowmen, penguins and enchanted spruces.

How much: £12.50

Where to buy: Online or in-store at Hotel Chocolat

 

After Eight

The lowdown: Given the state of UK politics, you might not fancy an advent calendar that resembles Big Ben this year, but when we tell you that it’s full of After Eights, you may just change your mind. Sadly for white chocolate purists, the After Eight advent calendar does include dark and milk chocolates too, but if you love a white chocolate and mint combo, the eight white chocolate After Eights in this calendar will be worth the compromise.  

How much: £10

Where to buy: In-store or online at Tesco

 

Milkybar

The lowdown: Just to be clear, we’re including this for nostalgic purposes only (oh, and because everyone who likes white chocolate secretly loves a Milkybar). It’s cheap, it’s festive and, if the Milkybar Kid is to be believed, made with the creamiest milk. Also, it’s been around since the thirties, so they must be doing something right.

How much: £1.50

Where to buy: Most supermarkets

 

Best hot chocolate advent calendars

If you prefer to drink your chocolate as the cold nights draw in, you’ll love our hand-picked selection of hot chocolate advent calendars below. Each one contains individual sachets of delicious hot chocolate powder that promise to bring a bit of warmth to those frosty December days.

 

Whittard

The lowdown: Beautifully boxed and containing 24 mini drawers, this drinkable advent calendar is made yet more festive by the fact that it serves two. You’ll find two sachets of its delicious hot chocolate powder in each compartment, with flavours ranging from peanut butter to sticky toffee pudding, white chocolate and its signature luxury hot chocolate, to be enjoyed by a roaring fire (or radiator).

How much: £45

Where to buy: In-store and online at Whittard

 

John Lewis

The lowdown: 24 days’ worth of silky smooth hot chocolate awaits those who have the foresight to get themselves one of John Lewis’ own-brand hot chocolate advent calendars. There are a whole host of flavours to discover behind the little mug windows inside the red, snow-flecked box, including caramel, mint, orange, cinnamon and hazelnut, to name but a few. And it’s a bit of a bargain too – think how much 24 cups of hot chocolate would cost you in Starbucks (or better yet, don’t).

How much: £20

Where to buy: In-store or online at John Lewis

 

Debenhams

The lowdown: Count down the days until Christmas one steaming mug of hot chocolate at a time with this hot chocolate advent calendar from Debenhams. There are a whopping 16 flavours to discover, from classic milk chocolate to coffee, white hazelnut, and pistachio. Just add the powder to cold milk in a saucepan and bring it slowly to the boil for drinkable chocolate heaven.

How much: £18

Where to buy: In-store or online at Debenhams

 

MugCocoa

The lowdown: MugCocoa’s small batch craft chocolate has been designed to transform hot milk into deliciously smooth hot chocolate. These guys have included some tempting winter warmers in their hot chocolate advent calendar selection, including (but not limited to) pumpkin spice, salted caramel, campfire marshmallow, and Xmas pud.

How much: £20

Where to buy: Online at YawnBrew

 

Fortnum & Mason

The lowdown: We’re slightly cheating on this one, as it only contains one box of hot chocolate among 25 luxurious F&M treats, but we couldn’t help ourselves – just look at it! As well as 100g of Fortnum & Mason’s salted caramel hot chocolate, this whopper of an advent calendar (that definitely belongs under the ‘luxury’ category below) contains everything you could want over the festive season, from tea and coffee to chocolate, biscuits, preserves, condiments and alcohol. Merry Christmas indeed.

How much: £200

Where to buy: In-store or online at Fortnum & Mason

 

Best luxury chocolate advent calendars

We know our readers are a discerning lot, hence this selection of luxury chocolate advent calendars. Naturally they’re a bit pricier than your standard supermarket advent calendar, but you only have to take a look at the beautifully-designed packaging to know that the chocolate within is going to be incredible.

 

Pierre Marcolini

The lowdown: Pierre Marcolini’s 2019 advent calendar is almost too pretty to tamper with; almost. Styled to resemble a snow globe in rich oranges and blues with reindeer frolicking in the snow, the scene conceals 19 different flavours of the award-winning Belgian chocolatier’s chocolates, from salted caramels to pistachio praline, almond marzipan and passionfruit hearts. This one’s luxurious for sure, but for anyone who loves fine chocolate, worth shelling out for. 

How much: £49

Where to buy: From Pierre Marcolini

 

Charbonnel et Walker

The lowdown: As one of Britain's earliest chocolatiers, Charbonnel et Walker has had plenty of time to perfect its fancy chocolate advent calendar, which is as charming this year as every other. Comprising 25 little drawers decked out in festive red, green and gold, and each containing a luxury chocolate, this British chocolate maker’s offering is ideal for discerning chocolate enthusiasts who plan to countdown to Christmas in style.

How much: £65

Where to buy: Online at Liberty

  

Hotel Chocolat

The lowdown: This one is bound to be on every single round-up of chocolate advent calendars this year for three reasons; the first is, quite simply, that it’s enormous! Seriously, it’s double-sided so you’re definitely getting some bang for your buck here. Secondly, it not only contains a load of Hotel Chocolat’s silky smooth chocolates and chocolatey treats, but also two mini bottles of booze –  salted caramel vodka liqueur and cocoa gin. Thirdly, chocolate is Hotel Chocolat’s forte so you can rest assured that when it comes to creating a luxury advent calendar, these guys know what they’re doing.

How much: £68

Where to buy: Online or in-store at Hotel Chocolat

 

Fortnum & Mason

The lowdown: Self-restraint is the key to enjoying an advent calendar properly, but when it comes to Fortnum’s truffle selection advent calendar, it’s definitely going to be tested. Opening this bright red slim-line box reveals a Christmas tree decked with baubles, behind which 24 festive truffles are concealed. Flavours this year include Marc de Champagne, Christmas pudding, Christmas spice butter biscuit, salted caramel, chocolate orange and pecan and maple syrup, all of which sound as festive as can be. 

How much: £35

Where to buy: In-store (at the first floor Christmas store) or online at Fortnum & Mason

 

Alain Ducasse

The lowdown: As tempting on the outside as the exquisite French chocolates that lie within, this hexagonal chocolate advent calendar from Alain Ducasse’s signature chocolate brand is named ‘Journey to the Centre of the Cocoa Jungle’. The illustrations by artist Agathe Singer may be reminiscent of a children’s story book, but the sugar-coated almonds, praline bonbons, mini chocolate bars and a very special final surprise are perhaps suited better to adult palates.

How much: £45

Where to buy: In-store at Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, Coal Drops Yard

 

For more advent calendars, check out our guide to the best advent calendars 2019.