Saturday, 17 November 2012

Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar Review

There are some things that really get me starting to feel festive.  The first time I break into the super-sparkly red & green glittery nail polishes, the Christmas lights going on in town, and popping open the first door on the advent calendar.  I was a bit cheeky this year, and when Hotel Chocolat sent me their milk chocolate advent calendar to try out, I couldn't wait until December 1st!

Normally chocolate advent calendars are, well, a bit meh.  A nice exciting picture on the front, but the chocolate tend to leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed.  They're best left for the children, or shared in the office.  That's not the case with Hotel Chocolat!  From the outside, this is an advent calendar for the grown ups!  Subtle, beautifully designed, straight away you know this is going to be a treat that you don't want to share!  I actually opened this parcel in my office, there were a lot of very jealous co-workers peering over my shoulder & volunteering to be taste testers, as if I'd need any help.

The advent calendar itself is freestanding, and opens up like a card.  It's something that I haven't seen before this year, but seems to have become quite a popular concept for adults' advent calendars.  It means you can display the card, without the constant temptation to sneak open the next day's door just a little bit early (that's not just me, is it?)

Not pictured: drooling co-workers!
The sleek design continues inside the card, the numbers are embossed in silver, and the whole feel of the calendar, even before you get to the chocolate is one of luxury & quality.  By this point, I knew I wasn't sharing with anyone, no matter how nicely they asked!  I waited until I got home, but there was no way I was going to manage any further restraint, and so I'd soon popped open door number 1, and poked an eager fingernail through the foil beneath.  Always a good sign, the foil keeps the chocolates fresh.

Nails: W7 Metallic Mars

I was almost surprised to find a fairly traditional Advent Calendar chocolate shape, at least behind the door I've seen so far (I'm being good, doors 2-24 will be opened on their "normal" dates), and I found a chocolate Santa staring back at me.  In traditional jelly baby style, I promptly bit his head off!  Yum!  Like I said earlier, most advent calendar chocolates leave me disappointed, but these are something else. 40% cocoa milk chocolates.  That means Good Chocolate.  I can't wait to start my days with a mouthful of this advent calendar every day next month!  Can't we have "November Calendars"?  And every other month.  I'm a much nicer person when I start the day with some chocolate!  Looking at the images on Hotel Chocolat's website, the daily chocolate sculptures get less traditional, and more sleekly designed, but I'm keeping the rest of the month a surprise.

At £12, this isn't a chocolate advent calendar for the children.  But it would make a great gift for a friend or loved one, or if you just need a bit of a treat yourself in these dark mornings, and even darker evenings.  Go on, treat yourself!

Hotel Chocolat have a great range of treats for all tastes & budgets.  I'm definitely eyeing up the Secret Santa gifts page, as soon as the names get drawn out of the hat on Monday, I'll be away.

Disclosure: I was provided with the Advent Calendar free of charge for the purposes of this review.  I was not told what to write, and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme, and will not receive reward for their use.

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