Fourteen Advent calendars in squares with festive design and logo

Best Advent calendars 2018

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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Best non-chocolate Advent calendars
Best chocolate Advent calendars
Best boozy Advent calendars
Best Advent calendars for kids

Best non-chocolate Advent calendars

Bonne Maman jam Advent calendar

Bonne Maman Advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from Amazon (£24.73)

Sous Chef chilli Advent calendar 

Sous Chef chilli Advent calendar box on white background
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. 

Buy from Sous Chef (£29.95)

The Protein Ball Co Christmas Advent calendar

Protein Ball advent calendar on white background

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 

Cheese advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from Sainsbury’s (£10)

Pact coffee Advent calendar 

Pact 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. 

Buy from Pact (£39.95)

Bird & Blend matcha tea Advent calendar

Matcha tea Advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from Bird & Blend (£65)

Joe & Seph’s gourmet popcorn Advent calendar

Joe and Sephs Advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from Joe & Seph’s (£25)

House of Newby tea Advent calendar 

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.

Buy from Newby (£58)

Pringles Advent calendar 

Pringles Advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from B&M stores (£8)

Carluccio’s limited edition Advent calendar

Carluccio's 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… 

Buy from Carluccio’s (£85)

Selfridges mince pie Advent calendar

Selfridges mince pie advent calendar on white background
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)

Best chocolate Advent calendars

After Eight Big Ben Advent calendar 

After eight advent calendar in clock shape on white background

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. 

Buy from Amazon (£18.65)

Quality Street Advent calendar

Quality Street purple Advent calendar in house design

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). 

Buy from Tesco (£5) and Wilko (£5)

Hotel Chocolat vegan-friendly dark chocolate Advent calendar

Hotel Chocolat dark chocolate vegan advent calendar on white background
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. 

Buy from Hotel Chocolat £12.50

Fortnum & Mason truffle selection Advent calendar

Fortnum and Mason advent calendar on white background
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. 

Buy from Fortnum & Mason (£35)

Best boozy Advent calendars

The Snaffling Pig Co pork crackling and beer Advent calendar 

Snaffling Pig beer advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from The Snaffling Pig Co (£65)

M&S festive cocktails Advent calendar 

Marks and Spencer cocktail advent calendar in star shape on white background

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… 

Buy from M&S (£25)

Laithwaite’s wine Advent calendar

Laithwaites wine Advent calendar on white background
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.  

Buy from Laithwaites (£79.99)

Chase Distillery spirits Advent calendar

Chase Distillery Advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from 31Dover (£59.95)

First 4 Hampers fizz Advent calendar 

Fizz Advent calendar on white background
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. 

Buy from First 4 Hampers (£125)

That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent calendar

Gin advent calendar on white background with mini bottles of gin

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.

Buy from 31 Dover £99.95

Honest Brew beer Advent calendar

Honest Brew advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from Honest Brew (£69.90)

Best Advent calendars for kids

Reese’s peanut butter cup miniatures Advent calendar

Reeses advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from Tesco (£5) and Ocado (£5)

The Naked Marshmallow Co Advent calendar

Marshmallow Advent calendar on white background

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.

Buy from The Naked Marshmallow Co (£15)

Haribo Advent calendar

Haribo Advent calendar on white background

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. 

Buy from Ocado (£5) and Tesco (£5)

How to give back…

Reverse Advent calendar 

Food bank parcel with cans
Image: Getty

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