Imagine how difficult it is to pre-test Advent calendars, forcing yourself to open each window, well before the actual date. It’s wrong, triggering long-buried superstitious genes. But that was before I collided Gabrielle Cugno£55 Advent Calendar which made the whole process… easy. Regular readers might remember her Easter Eggs to end all Easter Eggs and her bars in general, which sell out when they’re generally released. Readers end up hating me for it and it will be no different. I am sorry. But! I forced Cugno to withhold half the post until this column appeared, so if you’re quick you can still get one.
This year is Cugno’s first foray into Advent calendars and his is pretty simple to look at and made entirely out of paper. But behind each window (and there are 24 of them) hides a little bit of perfection: a chocolate like you would find in a box of chocolates or like a delicious chocolate thing at the end of a good meal. There are two of each flavor so you can track down your favorites or if you want – gasp – you can share, but really this is all about you and me. It’s not for those with nut allergies. Flavors include specially selected pistachio rock, black sesame praline, Earl Gray and shortbread. I loved all but one (cassis, you can have that one); there’s a lot of caramel and a lot of praline and if you only have one chocolate advent calendar, get this one.
Others worth mentioning are Luisa’s Vegan Craft Advent Calendar, £26. fifth dimension The £45 box of Advent chocolates, as the name suggests, has no window to open, but every day you can find out more about the global inspiration behind each chocolate in a fun way to plan a vacation for 2023.
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