Saturday, 17 November 2012

Lux Advent Calendars

It’s midway through November and we’re already being bombarded with Christmas songs, food and gifts It’s not going anywhere so you may as well embrace it - what better way to start than getting in the Christmas spirit every morning with an advent calendar.  You can always pick up the usual Malteser or Hello Kitty advent calendar for under a fiver but here are some luxury options if you want to start the festive season in style.

Getting into the Christmas spirit is now literally possible with a whisky advent calendar from Master of Malt! Instead of cheap chocolate, there are 24 hand-picked drams of 3cl samples of whisky.  It's all very hush hush as to what they are, but you’re promised some superb spirits. Whisky not your thing?  How about the Ginvent Calendar – same concept, but with some artisnal gins in conjunction with The Gin Blog. These don’t come cheap, at £149.99 and £79.99 respectively per calendar, but the way I see it, it’s £3.50 per gin and a sample of a 50 year old Scotch whisky which is not to be sniffed at. Another way of looking at it is: 24 cocktails till Christmas!
On the more girly end of the spectrum, the Ciante Mini Mani Month is a super lux calendar that I would gladly forgo a daily chocolate fix for. It has seventeen paint pots, four caviar blends and three exclusive glitter shades, all hidden away in pretty packaging which helps justify the £38 price tag.  Seeing as it’s bound to sell out from Selfridges quickly, it's worth checking Ebay to see if you can pick one up for the festive season.

Onto the serious business of actual chocolates in your advent calendar!  One of the prettiest selections you'll find is from local chocolatiers Coco Chocolate.  I remember one of my favourite advent calendars from days of yore was a 101 Dalmations - my mind was blown away by the cute puppy shapes and I was so impressed the chocolates were both milk and white! Extending far beyond my childish wonder at basic chocolates shapes and flavours, Coco Chocolate have produced a stunning hand painted cocoa butter advent calendar, available in organic milk, white or dark chocolate or cranberry cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s definitely the pick of the bunch for chocolate advent calendars.  They're so beautifully crafted you might feel a teeny tiny bit guilty for eating these works of art, but I'm sure it's the type of thing you'd get over quickly.  

If you’re thinking this all sounds like crass commercialism there’s always the option to make your own. For the crafty amongst you a workshop at Lauriston Castle is available where you can craft your very own wooden advent calendar and then paint and decorate it with decoupage for just £25.  Or, alternatively,  you can make a buttonbag version to fill yourself with a little help from John Lewis  for £15.

Personally, I think I'll be going for some mid-range luxury in the form of Hotel Chocolat's Truffles for Two advent calendar.  Each door houses two gorgeous chocolate truffles in milk and dark chocolate so you can either share your daily chocolate countdown or treat yourself to both!  It's not exactly a snip at £25, but it makes it far more palatable if you think that you're getting 48 chocolates and essentially it's a two for one deal.  There's also the bonus of my boyfriend thinking I'm awesome for getting a present for us to share when I'm just getting something that I really wanted.  Whether you decide to go lux on your advent calendar or not this year, I'd recommend getting in quickly before all that's left is the supermarket's own-brand with sad looking Santas and plain chalky chocolate on the 2nd of December.  

So... what would you like to find behind your advent calendar doors in December?


  1. That chocolate one looks so lovely, I've got three this year cos I couldn't choose which one to have!

    1. Three times the chocolate - you can't argue with that!

  2. The whisky one looks amazing! I got the YOU Latest in Beauty one and got hubby a chocolate one from Charlotte Flower Chocolates.

    1. I've been lusting over the YOU beauty one! It's a pretty good price considering there's Eve Lom, Aromatherapy Associates etc in there - I'm jealous!!