The charming “girls” in the picture are Kira and Kimba, two American Shetland ponies who have recently taken up residence in Auersthal to be spoiled and pampered by my friends FotoMarathonMan and AkhalTekeGal. I made my way to the lower Austrian prairie to meet them and to enjoy a proper cup of tea at their residence. That part of Austria is where the oil fields are. Like Texas. Just a bit smaller.
The tea and the gin
The water in Auersthal is hard and the water in Vienna is soft. Fortunately the good people at Taylors of Harrogate who make Yorkshire tea have considered that and offer blends for both water types. I have even seen people in Scotland buying Yorkshire Tea because even with the teabags it is possible to produce “a proper brew.” Now, you may have heard me complaining about “dust filled bags” and of course, even Yorkshire teabags are essentially dust filled, but I now claim that, as it is dust collected for the British market, it is of a superior quality and can, sometimes, when made in a pot, with water that is hot enough, produce a drinkable cup of tea.
Now to the gin – Edinburgh Gin and Fever Tree tonic, quite delicious. FotoMarathonMan had also brought some gin garnishes from a recent trip to Spain. I put some cardomom seeds in mine, and AkhalTekeGal had hibiscus bloom in hers. The hibiscus made the gin turn pink after a while and it gave a rather sweet flavour. We enjoyed it, but we’d have been just as happy with the gin and tonic as it was. Fever Tree tonic is slowly becoming my favourite.
It’s not just Kira and Kimba that are pampered and spoiled, my hosts took great care to make sure that everything a fussy lady might require was on hand, and presented in some style, considering we were in a stable. The presentation of the sustenance for Kira and Kimba was slightly less sophisticated, but they seemed to enjoy their afternoon tea nonetheless.
Well this stable is very well equipped with tea making facilities, but there is also everything Kira and Kimba and their flatmate, the Kinsky warm blood Kalina could need. Kalina stands a proud 17.5 hands high, and if Kira and Kimba stood on top of each other, they would just pip her at the “who’s the tallest” mark on the doorpost, for they are a dinky 10 hands each. They can all move freely between their box and the yard, and so they live in relative luxury. I wonder if they all snuggle up for girly SingalongaMammaMia evenings?
The other guests
This being the girls’ private residence, I was the only guest. The staff, FotoMarathonMan, AkhalTekeGal and AnnieGetYourPitchfork are kept busy attending to the needs of the three ladies who inhabit the stables.
As befits the rustic location, the facilities are simple but clean and the hand drying is proper. There was even hand cream but it was notwhich, in spite of the apt name, I would not really recommend because the tube does not close properly. Kira and Kimba do not use this facility, but instead, chose to relieve themselves at the same time, on the straw covered floor of their box.
Since this is Kira and Kimba’s exclusive abode, you’d have to get an invitation from AkhalTekeGal and FotoMarathonMan to visit. In case you are one of the lucky few who may be invited, you can indeed expect a proper cup of tea and a decent gin and tonic. So, it’s 5 little teapots to the stables at Auersthal for excellent hospitality and the cutest, most charming hostesses Kira and Kimba.