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Best advent calendars 2023: Our top chocolate, kids and alcoholic picks for the festive period from £10

Get ready for the Christmas countdown with these highly recommended advent calendars

What’s Christmas without an advent calendar? All the excitement of opening those little doors each day in the lead-up to the 25th is the perfect way to get into the festive spirit. The best advent calendars, whether they’re edible or not, will bring a little sparkle of Christmas magic into your life.

From classic chocolate calendars to booze and beauty ones, there really does seem to be something to suit every taste and budget nowadays – and we’re not complaining, we love advent calendars in all their wonderful forms.

We’ve already rounded up the best unusual advent calendars, but we haven’t forgotten about the classics either. So if you’re searching for a more traditional advent calendar for 2023, we’re certain you’ll find something extra special here. From popcorn to Lego, plus vegan varieties for adults and kids, there’s something for everyone this year.

The best advent calendars to buy in 2023

1. Love Cocoa Truffle Calendar: Best milk chocolate option

Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at John Lewis

You can’t go wrong with a chocolate advent calendar. This luxe gold-embossed version from modern chocolatier James Cadbury is 24 days of deliciousness in the form of fine quality truffles – and they’re sustainably and ethically made, too. There are four decadent truffle varieties, all handmade using single origin Colombian cocoa, and we’ve found it nigh on impossible to pick a favourite: choose from Giant Hazelnut Crunch, Hazelnut Praline Heart, Spiced Gingerbread or Salted Caramel flavours, with an extra special honeycomb mini chocolate bar included for Christmas Eve.

If truffles aren’t your thing, there’s also an Assorted Chocolate Calendar for £15 featuring Love Cocoa’s bestselling flavours, or a traditional 41% Milk Chocolate Calendar (also £15) perfect for little ones. All calendars are plastic-free and the chocolate doesn’t use palm oil. Perfect!

Key details – Calendar type: Milk chocolate; Number of days: 24; Vegan: No; Vegetarian: Yes

Check price at John Lewis

2. Divine dark chocolate: Best dark chocolate advent calendar

Price when reviewed: £10 | Check price at AmazonIf you’re interested in a more ethical and sustainable chocolate advent calendar this year, look to Divine chocolate. Not only is Divine Fairtrade, but it’s also the only brand co-owned by the farmers themselves, ensuring that wages are fairer and at least some of the profits go back to those harvesting the cocoa beans.

That’s not the only reason to buy this calendar, though. The dark chocolate is a generous 70% cocoa and downright delicious. We also love its classic Christmassy theme. At a time when there are bundles of weird and wacky alternatives to chocolate advent calendars, sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics. As the chocolate is dairy-free, it’s suitable for vegans, too.

Key details – Calendar type: Chocolate; Number of days: 24; Vegan: Yes

3. LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar: Best kids’ option

Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at AmazonLooking for a build-up to the big day that doesn’t involve chocolate? This exciting mini-build Lego calendar is the perfect festive partner. With 24 different Lego gifts including six Harry Potter characters – plus Lego’s first ever Aberforth Dumbledore mini-figure – you can build your own magical Hogsmeade village adventure throughout December.

Each door contains a simple model-building guide to help you construct the 18 mini builds, from the Three Broomsticks Inn to Zonko’s Joke Shop, which are all compatible with all other Lego Harry Potter sets.

We think this is a great alternative for kids and big kids alike, and is sure to get them feeling festive and keeping busy in the run-up to the big day.

Key details – Calendar type: Toy; Number of days: 24

4. Drinks by the Dram World Whisky Advent Calendar 2023 Edition: Best alcoholic option

Price when reviewed: £150 | Check price at Master of MaltWhat better way to count down to Christmas than with Drinks by the Dram’s brilliant, adventurous whisky advent calendar? Every day in December you can try one of the 24 judiciously selected wax-sealed drams of whisky from 11 different countries, taking you on a taste-tantalising tour of the finest whisky distilleries around the world.

Each dram is 30ml, the perfect size for a nightcap, and you can take your pick from a range of 14 different advent calendars – from the £250 Japanese Whisky collection to the £400 Master of Malt Single Cask option – each with their own twist. If you love the idea of globetrotting your way through December one dram of whisky at a time, then the World Whisky Advent Calendar is for you. Here you’ll discover new and exciting whiskies from unexpected climes, as well as a variety of classic, premium single malts, big name distilleries and more.

Purists may prefer the £150 Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar, which takes you on a fascinating tour of the birthplace of whisky, showcasing a wide spectrum ranging from mouthwatering sherry bomb drams all the way through to heavily peated Speyside classics.

Key details – Calendar type: Alcohol; Number of days: 24; Vegan: Yes; Vegetarian: Yes

Check price at Master of Malt

5. Pokémon Holiday Calendar: Best option for Pokémon lovers

Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at AmazonPokémon is the highest-grossing entertainment franchise of all time, and hugely popular with children and adults alike. This calendar is primarily aimed at the former, but that’s not to say adults won’t succumb to the charm of the toys it includes.

There are 16 adorable 2in pocket monster models and seven accessories hidden behind its doors, and these can be used to create a wonderfully festive Pokémon scene once they’ve all been revealed. Alternatively, the models make for lovely little display pieces and are a welcome addition to any trainer’s collection.

Fans of online game platform Roblox will want to check out the Roblox Advent Calendar, which is produced by the same manufacturer, Jazwares, while those that prefer trading cards to models will be best served by the Pokémon TCG Holiday Calendar.

Key details – Calendar type: Toy; Number of days: 24

6. Bonne Maman Limited Edition Spreads and Herbal Tea Advent Calendar: Best option for jam lovers

Price when reviewed: £28 | Check price at AmazonFrench purveyors of delicious spreads, Bonne Maman, has come up trumps with this wonderful jam-packed calendar for Christmas 2023. Filled with 17 of its delicious 30g mini pots, six herbal teas and a festive gift to enjoy, waiting for Santa has never been tastier.

The Bonne Maman calendar is a fold-out design featuring a sweet Santa’s workshop illustration, behind which you’ll find a mouthwatering assortment of different jams and teas to get your breakfast off with a festive bang each December morning. From an irresistibly fruity strawberry and guava spread (our favourite) to the delectable milk caramel with cinnamon and gourmet cherry with pink peppercorn options, each window offers a new discovery to take you up to the big day.

Teas include a zingy and fresh morning blend herbal option, a soothing apple and cinnamon number and a sophisticated after-dinner variety, but we’re loath to spoil any more surprises for you. A joy for toast fans – go and buy it.

Key details – Calendar type: Jam/tea; Number of days: 24; Vegan: No; Vegetarian: Yes

7. Ilchester Cheese Advent Calendar: Best option for cheese lovers

Price when reviewed: £9 | Check price at OcadoThere’s a lot of crazily priced calendars out there this year and honestly, who has the cash? Not us. So we’re thrilled to find this purse-friendly advent calendar filled with British cheese for those of us who prefer our treats on the savoury side.

Featuring 11 different varieties of cheese from award-winning Somerset-based cheese specialists Ilchester Cheese Company, this tempting calendar has 24 windows to enjoy counting down to Christmas Day, each hiding a tasty miniature truckle of cheese.

Crackers at the ready, you’ll be tucking into Ilchester Cheddar with Caramelised Onion, Ilchester Aged Red Leicester, Applewood Vintage Smoked Cheddar and more for the tastiest afternoon or evening snackette.

Key details – Calendar type: Cheese; Number of days: 24; Vegan: No; Vegetarian: Yes

Check prices at Ocado

8. Joe & Seph’s Find Joe Advent Calendar: Best option for snack lovers

Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at Joe & Seph’sGourmet popcorn makers Joe & Seph’s have come up trumps this Christmas with this quirky calendar to delight snack fans. Featuring 24 festive cubbyholes hiding 14 different flavours of gourmet award-winning popcorn – from Candy Cane to Speculoos and Yule Log to Salted Caramel – Joe & Seph’s mini bags are sure to brighten up even the darkest December days.

Illustrated with a Christmassy popcorn kitchen scene, this intricately designed calendar also features a “Find Joe & Seph” puzzle – can you spot Joe, the popcorn chef, and Seph, head taster, among the kitchen chaos?

Key details – Calendar type: Popcorn; Number of days: 24; Vegan: Yes; Vegetarian: Yes

Check price at Joe & Sephs