Discover the best foodie Advent calendars for counting down to Christmas 2018. We’ve found alternative calendars (including gin and cheese), plus traditional chocolate ones.
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Bonne Maman jam Advent calendar
Toast-lovers, take note! This calendar has 23 mini jars of jam (plus one surprise) to count down to Christmas. Launched in France last year, this is the first time the calendar has landed in the UK.
Sous Chef chilli Advent calendar
Eschewing the conventional notion of opening a window to an immediately consumable goody, Sous Chef’s The Big Chilli Advent calendar encourages you to cook something delicious every day in the run-up to Christmas. As well as 25 varieties of specialist chillies, the pack also includes tasting notes and recipes.
The Protein Ball Co Christmas Advent calendar
An Advent calendar that has health credentials? Surely not. This protein ball calendar might make chocolate lovers wince, but to those looking for an alternative to all-out excess, take note – you have options.
Buy from The Protein Ball Co (£12.99)
Ilchester cheese Advent calendar
Whoever developed the cheese Advent calendar is speaking our language. Behind each window of this calendar, due to be launched on 14 November, you'll find a British or continental cheese plus a cheese joke (because we all need more of those in our lives). Keep refrigerated, and don’t forget the crackers.
Pact coffee Advent calendar
Fuel yourself through the busy festive season with a caffeinated countdown to Christmas. Each day, you’ll get a pouch of speciality coffee, measured and pre-ground for use in a cafetière, AeroPress or drip brewer.
Bird & Blend matcha tea Advent calendar
Go green with this novel tea Advent calendar. Find a specialist blend behind each window, including flavours like ice cream matcha and pure-grade matcha. Billed as the world's first matcha Advent calendar, it also comes with a specialist whisk for making your drink to perfection.
Joe & Seph’s gourmet popcorn Advent calendar
This bumper box claims to be the world’s first popcorn Advent calendar. It features signature Joe & Seph’s popcorn flavours, from toffee apple & cinnamon to chocolate orange and cookies & cream.
House of Newby tea Advent calendar
This luxury Advent calendar is one for bigger budgets, but the extra-special tea and beautiful packaging makes it stand out among the calendar crowd. Each drawer features four sachets of Newby tea, meaning this can be one for sharing.
Pringles Advent calendar
Crisp. Advent. Calendar. Three words that make us feel like all our Christmas days have come at once. We love a savoury Advent calendar, and this jolly Pringles version features well-loved flavours and more than a little kitsch charm. It's guaranteed to sell out. Available in store only.
Carluccio's limited edition Advent calendar
If you’re in the market for a luxury Advent calendar, this Carluccio’s number has it all – pasta and sauces, olive oil, biscuits, panettone and a whole host of other Italian treats. It ticks the sweet and savoury boxes and then some…
Selfridges mince pie Advent calendar
A mini mince pie every day in December? Now that’s something we can get on board with. When there’s only such a short window in which to indulge in our favourite festive pastry, this calendar from Selfridges makes a whole lot of sense.
Buy from Selfridges (£35.99)
After Eight Big Ben Advent calendar
We’ll always find room for mint chocolates. This After Eight advent calendar features a variety of chocolates (including white and dark) and comes in the shape of Big Ben. And it’s 3D. And it’s over a foot tall. All these things make us happy.
Quality Street Advent calendar
Your favourite tin of Christmas chocolates in Advent calendar form. We’ll be hoping every day holds a purple-wrapped caramel nut (or a green noisette triangle at a push).
Hotel Chocolat vegan-friendly dark chocolate Advent calendar
Vegan has been the foodie buzzword of 2018, so this free-from Hotel Chocolat Advent calendar is on-point (and delicious). The classic, solid, 70% dark chocolate figurines take things back to basics – because sometimes simplicity is what's required.
Fortnum & Mason truffle selection Advent calendar
If you’re in the market for an extra-special, luxe chocolate calendar, opting for a Fortnum & Mason creation is a cast-iron guarantee of quality. This elegant calendar opens like a book and each window features flavoured truffles, from festive Christmas pudding to salted caramel and maple syrup.
The Snaffling Pig Co pork crackling and beer Advent calendar
Hot on the trotters of The Snaffling Pig Co’s popular pork crackling Advent calendar comes this collaboration with London’s Meantime Brewing Company. Behind each window are a bag of scratchings and a bottle of beer. Three cheers to that.
M&S festive cocktails Advent calendar
An on-trend calendar that ticks both the booze and chocolate boxes, this high-street buy features cocktail truffles in bellini and buck’s fizz flavours, plus a bottle of something stronger…
Laithwaite's wine Advent calendar
Wine merchants Laithwaite's has selected some of its finest bottles to feature in this boozy Advent calendar. Expect on-trend New Zealand sauvignon blanc, Australian shiraz, fizz and more, plus a special surprise on Christmas Eve.
Chase Distillery spirits Advent calendar
This elegant, luxury calendar from Chase Distillery offers a little bit of everything – although in 12 days rather than 25. Inside the drawers, you’ll find fine British gin, vodka and liqueur.
First 4 Hampers fizz Advent calendar
The height of pre-Christmas decadence, this heavyweight box is filled with miniature bottles of prosecco, cava and champagne. If you have a big budget and fancy seeing out the year in style, this is for you.
That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent calendar
Super-cool spirits brand That Boutique-y Gin Company specialises in adventurous flavours. This calendar features such wild and wonderful gin variants as spit-roasted pineapple and Swedish rose, with a different flavour behind every door. Bulk-buy your tonic water and let the gin adventure commence.
Honest Brew beer Advent calendar
This beer calendar features products from a great selection of craft breweries, including Manchester's super-cool Cloudwater, alongside Honest Brew's own collaborative beers, created with the likes of Northern Monk. Behind each window is a can or bottle, with not a boring brew in sight.
Reese’s peanut butter cup miniatures Advent calendar
Deck the halls with cups of peanut. These all-American chocolates are creamy, slightly salty and incredibly moreish, so self-control may need to be employed.
The Naked Marshmallow Co Advent calendar
Including flavours like gingerbread, mint choc chip and s’mores, this marshmallow Advent calendar is a gourmet take on everyone’s favourite skewerable confectionary. First released last Christmas, the calendar was a complete sell-out – it seems everyone is dreaming about a white (and bouncy) Christmas.
Haribo Advent calendar
If you want a sweet Advent calendar but fancy a break from chocolate, go the gummy way with this cheerful Haribo jelly sweet calendar. You’ll find surprise bags of your favourite fruity sweets behind each window.
How to give back...
Reverse Advent calendar
A ‘reverse Advent calendar’ is the idea that for each day of December, you provide a donation to a local food bank. Instead of opening a window, each day you collect an item of food or toiletries – meaning by the time Christmas comes around, you'll have a full parcel to drop off. Read more about reverse Advent calendars here or contact your local food bank to find out how to donate and what supplies they’re currently in need of.
This review was last updated in November 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.