Words by: Shamim de Brún
Advent: The stretch leading up to Christmas. It’s hypothetically a season of fasting and contemplation to prep for Jesus’s arrival. In practice, it is a season of excess. One party after another till the big party before the other party.
If carefully opening a perforated flap in the cardboard box, revealing a euro size milk chocolate shaped like a bell gets you all excited you are not alone. Not knowing what exactly is behind that door is probably the most efficient way to recapture the childish excitement of the Christmas build-up.
We have condensed our top 5 Irish owned and produced advent calendars to get you all caught up in the festivities
For The Taste Savant
If preserves are your jam then this is a calendar for you. With 24 seasonal selections, GranGran subverts all expectations. It comes with sweet and savoury selections to munch on. It’s an interesting alternative to a chocolate-centric countdown. All these creative condiments are handmade by a family-run business. They only use seasonal fresh ingredients including their own homegrown veggies. Who doesn’t want a jam-vent calendar to brighten their morning toast?
Coming in at €75 it’s pretty well priced for the quality of the products. You can pick it up from any one of their 250 suppliers nationwide.
For the decadent dreamer
Advent calendar from Clo Chocolates, a delightful creation by the talented chocolatier, Clotilde Rambaud. This advent-urous calendar is a testament to her prowess. This bad boy is not just a feast in the form of a once-daily treat; it’s a gateway to a chocolatey Narnia. There are 24 handmade chocolates, each as tempting as the White Witch’s Turkish Delight. From the caramel reindeer to the praline snowman, each piece is the perfect bite to wile away the days till the big feast.
It’s €45 and available directly from them online, but you can also pick it up at Brown Thomas and Arnotts.
For The Wild Thing
Wilde Chocolates are the vagabonds of the Irish chocolate scene. All their chocolatiers are house-trained in Belgian couverture chocolate making. They are as experimental as the colloquial mad scientist. Always trying something new. This is a daring selection of 24 milk and dark chocolates, pralines, caramels and truffles.
Coming in at around twenty quid, you can order direct from Wilde Chocolates or pick it up for now of their many stockists nationally.
For The Ethicist.
Get ready to feel smug about your chocolate game with this colossal calendar. It’s like the moral high ground in a box – and it’s made by Tony’s, the chocolate rebel with a cause. Tony’s doesn’t mess around; they’re on a mission to kick child labour to the curb in chocolate production. Plus, they’re all about that Fairtrade cocoa, so you can enjoy your sweet fix guilt-free. This calendar oozes with colourful “Tiny Tonys” in ten flavours. Behind each nook and cranny, you’ll find a mission statement that’s all about making the world a better place, one bite at a time.
Pick this up from all good retailers for about €15.
For The Connoisseur
This one is boujee. A hundred quid on an advent calendar is sheer luxury. It comes in as just under a fiver a day, so if you’re subbing your morning coffee and a croissant for a decadent hand-painted Irish made chocolate then it’s somewhat justifiable. The chocolates from Grá are something special and would give anyone a reason to get out of bed on dark December Sunday mornings.
This comes in at exactly €100 and is available online or in-store at Brown Thomas.
Elsewhere on Char: Tony’s Got Balls