When we’ve quaffed a few mojitos the night before, and our brains can’t cope with anything more highbrow than the repeated mispronunciation of the word, “meringue,” over a 30 minute period, we look to shows like Come Dine with Me, and Dinner Date. They’ve got us through some bad times.
The great thing is that we’ve subliminally learned a lot from this TV format, significant things, like don’t drink all the wine as you prepare your delicious prawn pil-pil starter, try and avoid serving pigs trotters if you can, practice the dish before the night of the actual dinner party, and definitely leave your pet snake in the other room.
The main lesson that we’ve learned, however, is that harsh lighting, as necessitated by the presence of camera crews filming these shows, is a sure fire way to kill the atmosphere and sap the ambience from any space.
It might be the world’s most beautiful dining room, but bathed in the unflattering rays of an overhead light, it will look stark and cold. Meanwhile great lighting can hide a multitude of sins ie. That damp patch in the corner.
It’s very unlikely that you’re dinner party is going to be filmed by a Channel 4 camera crew, and so you won’t need to have every light in the house blazing. Instead you can use soft lighting and plenty of candles to create a mood so unforgettable and relaxing, that your guests will be reluctant to go home.
You don’t want your lovingly made beef bourguignon having to compete with the heady aromas of Amber Noir, and so we recommend that you keep your favourite scented Shearer candles away from where you will eating. Instead you can fill the rest of the house with inviting scents that your guests will appreciate.
Our favourite dining candles are these unscented rustic candles which come in a variety of bright colours, perfect for the summer months. A mix of colours can look really striking when all placed together, particularly if they’re in glass candle holders, like below. If you prefer a more traditional look then our thin ivory church candles or taper candles are always a timeless and classy option.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous then we love the look of ‘fire and water,’ which is easy to create but makes it look like you’ve been decorating the table all day – when really you’ve been trying on outfits and listening to Dolly Parton. All you need is 2 vases, one that will sit inside the other one, one candle, some crafty waterproof glue, and food colouring (if you’re matchy matchy then you can blend it with your colour scheme.) Glue the two vases together, pour the coloured water in between them and then pop a candle in the inner vase. Impressive stuff, courtesy of Martha Stewart.
Hipsters favourite, Mason Jars, also look great as candle holders – add some string or a bow for an on trend, low cost dinner table update, or some Epsom salt for a snowy look! Dot around the table as desired.
For when you want a bit more drama at the table, and no, we don’t mean a screaming match, our unscented church candles come in a wide variety of sizes, perfect for putting in hurricane lanterns, which we sell in medium and large. These act as a wonderful centre piece, which give the table a real focus.
So that’s the mood lighting taken care of, now on with your apron, it’s time to get cooking!