There’s nothing more romantic than enjoying a softly lit dinner by candlelight. If it’s been awhile since you’ve treated your significant other to a romantic dinner, a candlelit dinner is the way to go!
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with taking them out to your favorite restaurant but did you know that there are many ways to recreate that perfect candlelight ambiance? For couples who enjoy the outdoors, you can enjoy a nice beachside picnic complete with lanterns. For the couple that loves staying in, how about turning your backyard into a romantic oasis complete with candles and twinkling string lights over the dinner table?
To help you plan the perfect date, FTD came up with these 16 creative candlelight dinner ideas along with quick tips so that you can easily recreate the scene. Check out the ideas below and reignite the romance!
In the garden
Nothing says love like eating amongst the flowers. Treat your date to a fairy-tale experience by hanging candles, string lights, and paper lanterns from the trees and plants. It’ll create a warm glow as the daylight fades. Next, set up a table and cover it with flowers; you are in a garden after all! Choose a floral centerpiece to keep it classic or collect petals and scatter them on the table. When it comes to the meal, keep it light and fresh to echo the garden’s natural allure.
Photo by: Selina Whittaker Photography
By the pool
Capture the mood of a romantic resort with dinner by a candlelit pool. It transforms from splash zone to sweet retreat with the help of tealight candles. Float them in the pool by the dozens for an awe-inspiring effect. Add blankets and pillows piled high at the water’s edge. Snuggle up! Finally, serve exotic cocktails in sunset colors to make your date feel like a passionate getaway.
In a tent
Take advantage of a tent’s natural coziness by setting up dinner inside. This unique take on dinner is even more special when you line the inside with candles to set the tent aglow. Fill the tent with cozy cushions for maximum snuggling and keep your date warm with marshmallow heart hot chocolate. Tea with heart-shaped sugar cubes works too. Bonus points if you warm up together by a campfire!
Photo by: Spell & The Gypsy Collective
At the beach
Set up a picturesque dinner for two while you watch the sun set into the waves. Make the meal stunning from the get-go by lining the path to it with candles. If a picnic is what you’re after, make it beachy-romantic with classy towels and pink-hued shells (they’re the beach version of flower petals!) Oysters are a natural choice for their aphrodisiac quality. If your date’s not into seafood, artichokes and avocados are also known for their love-sparking qualities!
Photo by: Danielle Poff photography
At a restaurant
Don’t be afraid to let a restaurant do the heavy lifting when it comes to a perfect dinner. You can still make it special with your own thoughtful touches. Do your research ahead of time to find a restaurant that decorates with glimmering candles. It’s a surefire way to create ambiance. Try gifting your date a gorgeous bouquet on the way to dinner, then using it as a centerpiece when you arrive. Order the most romantic-sounding foods and a great bottle of red!
At the park
Dinner al fresco has a naturally dreamy feel. Capitalize on a park’s natural beauty by displaying candles on tree stumps, in flower beds, and other natural features. If you want to feel like you’re in a private paradise, seek out a tall set of trees or plants to dine behind. Chocolate dipped strawberries are a classic end to a romantic dinner. Try eating them while stargazing for a sweet finish to the night.
Give this casual classic a luxurious upgrade to make it date night worthy. Think bohemian romance by decking out your picnic in jewel-toned candles of all shapes and sizes. Swap out your tried and true picnic blanket for something more sensuous: try silk sheets or even a faux fur rug. Finger foods are a picnic necessity, but they can still be romantic. Cheese, foie gras, French bread and grapes hit the spot. Don’t forget the wine!
Photo by: Army Wife 2 Suburban Life
Dinner in bed
Try dinner in bed for a flirty upgrade on the breakfast classic. If you have a big headboard or over-bed shelf, it’s an ideal place to line up tall candlesticks. If not, try carefully arranging them around the foot of the bed. To lessen messiness, serve dinner on trays topped with flowers, silk napkins, and other pretty garnishes. If the thought of food in bed still isn’t for you, enjoy a glass of wine between the sheets before moving to a table for food.
On the Balcony
A private dinner in fresh air makes for an enchanting evening. If you already have potted plants on your balcony, incorporate some candles between them to up the romance ante. If your balcony has a pleasant view, arrange the table and chairs so both you and your date can see it. Ideally, this means sitting close together! Finally, be prepared for cool weather as the evening closes in. Have luxurious blankets, hot drinks, and a warm embrace at the ready.
Dinner at home
Nothing is as intimate as a candle light dinner at home. Don’t underestimate your ability to transform your dwelling into a hub for love! If you have a fireplace, fill it with tall candles. If you don’t, simply place them wherever there’s a flat surface. It’ll create a huge impact! Also incorporate flower petals, harmonious music, and low lighting to create the right atmosphere. For added flirty fun, try cooking together. Aphrodisiac foods are the obvious choice.
There’s nothing more special than enjoying the coastal breeze with your loved one. Take in the view from a candlelit seaside restaurant, or bring your own picnic to the pier. A blanket, foldable chairs, and a bottle of wine are a must for picnicking. You can set the mood with a lantern, and time your dinner so that you can watch the sunset. Bonus points if you decorate with candles in coordinating yellows, reds, and oranges.
Create an idyllic candlelit meal in your own backyard! Sometimes, there’s nothing more relaxing than enjoying a nice meal at home. Be sure to pick an evening with the perfect weather, and If you have a patio, hang string lights for an added touch of enchantment. Steaks on the grill add a sizzle to your night. Pair with red wine!
Wine pairing night
Candles and wine: the enduring romantic duo. Pick out your favorite wines and create your own wine pairing for your home-cooked meal. To help you pair your favorite flavors together, use our herb and wine pairing guide. Craft something personal and passionate. Capture the winery feel by having bowls of fresh grapes on hand to set among some simple candles.
On a Boat
Is there anything more dream-like than floating on the water in a candlelit boat? Just because it may rock and rollick doesn’t mean you should skip the flames. Just display candles in a weighted holder to prevent any dangerous tipping. Use the boat’s limited space as an excuse to keep things simple and cozy. Forego the elaborate table settings in place of simple flatware and a delicious meal. Serve salmon and wine to keep with the romantic nautical theme.
Dessert for Dinner
If your date loves spontaneity, dessert for dinner will sweep them off their feet. Keep it romantic and quirky by putting candles in cake birthday-style or set one aflame amid a pile of cookies. As long as you’re breaking the rules, use your finest china and teacups to sip hot cocoa (swirly straws optional). A quality champagne and chocolate fondue will remind your love that the night is still about romance.
Movie Night in
A movie night in combines the classic charm of the cinema with the unique pleasure of snuggling at home. Make it more extravagant by dimming the overhead lights and covering the coffee table in candles. Serve popcorn topped with fine herbs and cheeses. Pair with a bottle of bubbly. Take it to the next level with lots of blankets and be sure to pick a romantic film!
Now that you’ve read these simple candlelight dinner ideas, you’re ready to create a dream date.