Ambient Light

Ambient candle light dinning season is just ahead of us. The long summer alfresco evenings are turning to grand indoor entertaining.  Dining among good company with incandescent light will inevitably enhance your experience, but what type of candle is best?

I have learned to consider candles carefully. Good candles cast a beautiful glow. They flicker with a regular and balanced yellow flame. They do not smoke unless in a draft, and they burn slowly to pace the enjoyment of a meal. They make the moments of dining under candlelight absolutely dreamy.

Like the preparation of fine food, finding good ingredients in candles is important.  Beeswax or beeswax blends serve best for good burning candles, because beeswax burns slowly.   The Root Candle tapers I carry at Table Top & Home burn between 1 -1/2 to 2 – 1/2 hours per inch and are made of beeswax or a blend of beeswax, soy and other sustainable wax.  During a meal, your guest may not notice time pass as the candles burn down very slowly, making the moments of a fine meal linger into the evening.

Good quality wicks centered evenly in the candle and appropriately sized for the candle are as important as what surrounds them.  A wick too large may burn too high and fast.  Poor quality wicks can also spark, smoke or flame inconsistently.  Much devotion is put into excellent candle making and I believe Root candles have everything I could ever consider in an elegant, beautifully made quality candle.

I am asked, to scent, or not to scent. That is the question, whether guest love fragrance or food wafting in the air.  I choose no fragrance. I encourage you to use scentless candles for the table.  As much as ambiance is the key to entertaining dining, I believe enjoying the aroma of food and drink will likely be more appealing for you and your guests.

To keep your candles burning properly I have a few tips for long lasting success:

  • Keep your candle wicks trimmed to 1/4 of an inch and straight up both wick and stick before lighting.
  • Remove any foreign objects from the wax, so the candle burns evenly.
  • Decorative arrangements of candles should be 4 inches from one another to prevent burn problems.
  • Candles burn best between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, in a draft-free area.
  • Blowing out candles can cause the liquid wax to splatter, and the candle wick to glow and smoke.
  • Extinguish candles by placing the snuffer over the candle without touching it, allowing for enough time to eliminate the afterglow and remaining smoke.
  • When storing candles after use, keep them in a cool dry place away from sunlight.

Our Fall/Holiday stock has arrived and we have expanded our assortment of our Root Candles.  We now have over 20 colors among 5 styles and 12 sizes, including an expanded range of white and ivory fashion basics. It is the largest assortment of candles we have ever offered. Many of these are available to purchase on our website If you are interested in learning more about the fascinating history of family owned Root Candles, founded in 1869, I found a detailed (and fairly lengthy) company video on YouTube The History of Root Candles. Cheers to you!

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