Reviewed by Colin Hewitt
You just know you will enjoy some reviews as soon as you remove the item from its box.
We adore Bonne Maman products and love advent calendars – this would have to go out of its way not to be a winner.
Although they were founded in 1971, I first came across Bonne Maman a few years ago at a Cornbury Music Festival. On that occasion, I feasted on their all-butter Madeleines; they were absolutely delicious and infuriatingly addictive. Since then, I’ve searched for the instantly recognisable handwritten-style label and Gingham patterned lid of their products in my local supermarkets. As a result, I’ve tried quite a number of their products. Their Salted Caramel Cremes are one of my favourites.
Fast forward several years, and as Christmas approaches, I was delighted to be asked to review their 2022 advent calendar.
There are a plethora of Advent calendars available now. These days, behind tiny numbered doors, you can find anything from toys, chocolates, beauty products, and even cheese or beer. But looking at the exotic descriptions of the conserves hidden within the Bonne Maman 2022 Advent Calendar, you can immediately tell that this will indeed be a very indulgent December.
The calendar arrived very securely packaged. However, it’s surprisingly heavy, and when in use, I’d recommend locating it somewhere safe and stable.
Open, and unfold the box, and the design depicts a festive carousel, complete with red and gold awning. At its centre is a traditionally decorated Christmas tree. It really will be a talking point. We don’t tend to put our decorations up until maybe a week before Christmas. But this will undoubtedly be on display somewhere prominent throughout December with our Christmas cards nestled around it.
Each calendar contains twenty-three different flavoured 30g pots of conserve plus two surprise gifts for December 1st and 24th. I’ve opened a few windows already; I won’t spoil the surprise by saying what the first surprise gift is. However, it’s safe to say it was well thought through and a great addition to the calendar.
The conserve I’ve tried so far have been:-
Grapefruit and Dragon Fruit Spread
Apricot and Peach Jam
Mirabelle Plum with Linden Blossom Spread
As you would expect from Bonne Maman, they tasted delicious. The flavour wizards certainly haven’t taken any shortcuts in quality while dreaming up unusual flavour combinations. A lot of consideration has been put into this; it certainly isn’t a case of style over substance. I’d also add that 30g is just about the right amount for a generous couple of slices of toast at breakfast. However, if, unlike me, you can restrain yourself and not eat every jar immediately, they have a reasonably long shelf life.
Amongst the other flavours are the magnificent sounding Chestnut and Orange with Spices Spread, White Nectarine and Peach with Lemon Verbena Spread, Mango, Raspberry and Lime Spread, and Apple with Caramel and Cinnamon Spread. So the run-up to Christmas is going to be very special.
The website contains the entire list of preserves which can be found in this calendar, along with descriptions of the full range of Bonne Maman products.
Some people, especially this year, might consider Advent Calendars a wasteful over expensive frivolity. However, this is far less wasteful than something cheaper, which will likely be filled with plastic novelties. It also makes a massive change from chocolates. Yes, there’s a lot of packaging, but as far as I can see, most of it is recyclable. The Bonne Maman website even has some great ideas regarding reusing the small glass jars (they’ll be used for small quantities of herbs and spices in our kitchen).
I can already see this product becoming a new annual tradition in our household. Therefore, I intend to purchase a few more as early Christmas gifts for some friends and relatives.
Please note that you need to order by November 24th to ensure delivery by December 1st; however, I recommend purchasing them much earlier to avoid disappointment. I’m sure they’re likely to sell out rather quickly.
Rating: A magnificently well-deserved 5 out of 5
RRP: £25.99 (+ £3.99 p&p)
This product can be purchased here.