Super tandem along silvery Tay for luscious fresh farm strawberries at Port Allen and visit to new Pickled Peacock cafe at Cairn o’Mhor Fruit Winery

This “old lady” tandem and the silvery Tay – sensational views on NCN Rt 77.

This blog is the story of my dynamic crew having lots of laughs and fun on a super Sunday #tandem along the banks of the silvery Tay on The National Cycle Network Rt 77 for luscious fresh farm strawberries from Mains of Errol Fruit Shack at Port Allen and a visit to the new The Pickled Peacock café at Cairn o’Mohr Real Fruit Wines.

Another epic day out started with an early alarm call and after breakfast the “old git” and “old gal” headed to Dundee and parked Matilda Transport at the Tay Road Bridge Kiosk car park over the water from the city.

You can check out the details of our tandem route by clicking on the Strava map below.

After crossing the Tay, Team Matilda tandemed out of the city on the waterside Sustrans Scotland NCN 77 path – part of the The Green Circular cycle path which circumnavigates Dundee. After passing the airport Rt 77 passes thru Invergowrie where the River Tay opens up in front of you showing its true width and majesty. More of that on the way back!

With just a little breeze it was great conditions for tandeming along the quiet and relatively flat rural roads. Great to see so many other cyclists out – tho we failed to spot any other tandems!

We pedalled thru Errol Village before turning down a signposted track to our picnic destination of Port Allen. The “old gal” spotted the Mains of Errol Fruit Shack – an honesty mini hut shop selling freshly harvested strawberries.

It truly was from farm to fork in zero food miles – and as a result the strawberries were just lusciously sensationally fresh and flavorsome … providing the perfect accompaniment for one of my dynamic crew’s signature prosecco picnics in a true natural alfresco habitat!

The “lesser spotted” rose prosecco hiding in its “natural” habitat – complete with fresh strawberries.

Indeed the “old git” immediately added one of the smaller strawberries into the prosecco, so not only was it farm to fork, but farm to glass! “Extremely decadent – but very yummy” was the “old gal’s” verdict from the taste test! But only after exhaustive repeat testing just to make sure!

The “old gal’s” taste test of the ultra fresh strawberries from Mains of Errol Fruit Shack …

… the luscious zero food miles strawberries mixed perfectly with the pink prosecco! …

… and the “old gal’s” verdict after much tasting! – extremely decadent but very yummy!

Port Allen offered the idyllic picturesque picnic spot, sitting on a lovely bench featuring the wording “For what in Scotland can compare with the Carse o’Gowrie.” (The Carse o’Gowrie being the name for the renowned soft fruit growing area) And at that beautifully serene picnic moment – complete with those strawberries and the sun breaking thru – Team Matilda couldn’t agree more!

Luscious fresh farm to fork strawberries – the very best the Carse o’Gowrie can offer!

Cheers! Prosecco with a fresh strawberry from Mains of Errol Fruit Shack in the glass!

Amazingly given its solitude now, Port Allen historically was a bustling local harbour offering  a ferry crossing of the River Tay to Lindores in Fife. Records show that back in its heyday large quantities of grain were shipped from the port and around 200 people lived there in 1700s. The area is now a nature reserve with the reed beds proving the perfect venue for wildlife, in particular birds.

Enjoying the tranquility at Port Allen, with its reed beds now a nature reserve.

Team Matilda at picturesque Port Allen outside Errol – hard to believe it was once a bustling port.

After a most relaxing picnic Team Matilda pedalled on to the amazing idiosyncratic Cairn o’Mhor Fruit Winery just outside Errol to sample the delights of the new – and wonderfully named – Pickled Peacock café. The café has new owners along with a new name – with a sideways reference to the possibility of getting a little bit typsy from the fruit wines and cider made on the premises!

The “old gal” eyeing up the wooden “totem” sculptures at Cairn o’Mohr Real Fruit Wines!

And the menu looked fabulous – with great sharing plates – tho after their picnic my dynamic crew had to restrict themselves to sampling a slice of cheesecake with a nice strong coffee! And the whole winery and café is ultra bike friendly – and is therefore a favourite with cyclists.

The new The Pickled Peacock café  was worth a visit for fab cheesecake and coffee.

Naturally the “old git” had to visit the shop at the winery and purchased a bottle of Pictish cider for consumption at home at a later date! Well it would have been rude not to buy anything!

Here I am having a chat with the delivery vans at Cairn o’Mohr Real Fruit Wines!

After interrupting my very interesting chat with the smartly designed wine delivery vans, it was time for the “old gal” and “old git” to pedal back to Dundee – into a modest headwind as the tide was rushing back into the Tay estuary. There was a stop for pictures just before Invergowrie where the photos showed off the reality of the words from the famous poem by McGonagall about the “silvery Tay.”

The “old gal” reflecting on the words from the famous poem by McGonagall about “the silvery Tay”.

By the banks of the silvery Tay – Team Matilda enjoying the view across the river.

Despite the sun, the return crossing of the Tay Bridge was a bit blustery back to Matilda Transport. After I was safely packed away, the “old git” checked Strava which officially recorded the ride as being worth of a staggering 50 gongs – made up of a very pleasing 15 personal bests; 21 2nd bests and 14 3rd bests.

The detailed Strava figures showed my dynamic crew tandemed a distance of 33.9 miles with a moving time of 2 hours 33 minutes. The average speed was a healthy 13.3 mph given the wind. Elevation was just 689 feet as it was mainly along the banks of the river. The maximum speed was 35.6 mph and Team Matilda managed to burn up 1,489 calories and produce an average power output of 145 W.

As always the route is brought to life in our Relive 3D mapping video – so click here to view or on the image below.

Quite simply another great fun day out on a bicycle made for two!

4 thoughts on “Super tandem along silvery Tay for luscious fresh farm strawberries at Port Allen and visit to new Pickled Peacock cafe at Cairn o’Mhor Fruit Winery

  1. You’ve got us all salivating after those strawberries! A real gastronomic tandem trip and clearly no chance of a Tay Bridge disaster in those calm conditions (unless maybe getting stopped and breathalysed after popping into the Pickled Peacock!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sorry about lack of response but as well as d day re pub, Bill took delivery of a new computer today ! I know nothing about computers and neither does Bill any longer as his old one is 13! I would be easier going on a course as I am supposed to instantly know how it should work ! ….as he doesn’t, clearly! Divorce?? Or I may just move in to the pub, in fact I will just move in to the pub!
    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

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