Notes on chocolate: the Christmas countdown begins

We stopped having chocolate Advent calendars for a few years – chocolate behind perforated cardboard was no match for young children. We switched to Lego calendars for a while, but now we’re back to chocolate. Heads up, I haven’t tried all the chocolate in all the calendars (because, come on!) but they are all from chocolatiers I have previously tasted and love.

A fabulous idea is the UK Chocolate Makers dairy-free calendar, £46, with chocolates from all my favourites craft chocolate makers: Solkiki, Dormouse, Duffy’s, Bullion, Tosier, Neary Nogs plus others. It’s also super eco and will appeal to the minimalists.

Éponine has a fantastic vegan truffle offering, £35, with beautiful centres, such as mince pie and gingerbread.

Now we come to my two favourites. The first is Melt’s very limited-edition Notting Hill calendar, £69, which is super pretty, like a doll’s house that you open up and inside you have more small houses – one for each day – tied with string which have pralines, caramels and pâte de fruit – . You could even re-use it next year, with small treats of your choice. There’s also a cheaper Reindeer one, £19.99, filled with all sorts of yummies.

And my favourite no 2 is Zotter’s Handscooped Advent Calendar, £39.95, which, every day, has a mini version of Zotter’s truly wonderful filled bars. You are going to love it. But if you prefer solid bars the Zotter Labooko calendar, £27.95, is a contender: every day you get to try a tiny bar of a different cocoa content/origin.