It’s a bit gray and cloudy this morning, the kind of day that hints at the season to come. The week’s harvest moon made its appearance spectacularly as a super moon–what could be more romantic than that? But now that it’s moving to fall, we’re about to move romance indoors. There’ll be fewer picnics by the lake. More quiet weekends at home. No more fires on the beach. Time to get the fireplace in the living room going. The recipes for more hearty fare come out and I put away the ones for cold soups until next year.

But moving inside doesn’t mean we’ve lost the chance to have a romantic evening. In fact, the chill of fall is a great excuse to cuddle with your partner, isn’t it? So, we haven’t lost the romance of summer outings. We’ve gained the chance to fall for autumn!!

All it takes to make a setting, an evening, an event romantic are a few basics:

1. The right person. Well, duh, you say. Of course. I know. But it has to be said, anyway. With the right person, even a place that’s less than lovely can be romantic. Say, for example, the alley behind a restaurant where the trash cans are stored. If the right person is kissing you, who notices the recycling bins? At least, until someone comes out and tells you to get a room.

couple with wine and sunset

2. On the other hand, a lovely sunset or spectacular view from the restaurant where you’re sharing a meal can make the evening even more romantic.

flowers, candles, wine

3. Then there’s my trifecta of romantic perfection: candles, flowers and something sparkling. For non-drinkers, there are lovely beverages like the artisanal Washington State sparkling cider the hero in my recent book gave the heroine when he arrived at her home for dinner for the first time. It’s not the alcohol that matters, it’s the bubbles!

4. Music sets the stage for the evening.  I like the classics–Sinatra is always good. A Chopin nocturne is sexy. The soundtrack from a favorite romantic movie you both loved is great. Pick your favorite genre and put it on repeat.

fire in fireplace

5. As the weather cools, add a fire. The sound, the smell, the heat–knowing you’ll be watching it die down with a special person. Oh, yeah.

chocolate is the answer

6. And, of course, there’s dessert–chocolate, naturally. No explanation needed.

And there you have my basics for a romantic evening, whatever the season. So, what’re yours? Tell me in the comments!


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