Being a Pirate for a Day

Hidden Spirit 06

Just what London was missing – a bar on a pirate ship

Title of an interesting article and reviews about the Golden Hinde in London. A place for the whole family. The Golden Hindi hosts many events throughout the year. Many speak of their adventures on the ship. Some of many are in this article:


London is often thought of as a kind of Neverland – a place where boys and girls can come and never grow up. So it was really only a matter of time before it got its own pirate ship.

Enter Inventive Productions’ new immersive cocktail experience, The Hidden Spirit, which launched last week aboard the replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde at St Mary Overie Dock near London Bridge.

Stuffed with pirates and booze, it operates three nights a week and we at Telegraph Travel were the very first to clamber on board.

The experience

Be prepared to channel your inner pirate and say “aye” an awful lot, as you’re thrown straight into the deep end on arrival. Met by well-dressed ‘pirates’ (it could be argued that their clothes are inauthentically clean), you’ll be introduced to the ship and the plotline for the evening on deck by one of the crew, and greeted by the token ‘drunk’.

Waved on your way into the ship, your civvy coat is exchanged for a black costume jacket more befitting of a pirate, as well as a three-cornered hat (which can, incidentally, be converted into a rather fetching sun hat should the occasion arise).


Hidden Spirit
Meet the Governor and Captain Jack Cassidy CREDIT: X-DEFAULT/MATT MARTIN

Suitably attired, you’re now fit to meet the stern American Governor in his study, where you learn that the crew who came before you have all mysteriously been taken ill and the ship is waiting to set sail back to the US with a bounty of treasure worth two million dollars on board. You are to be the new crew. All who agree say “aye”!

As you move through the ship, the dimensions shrink and you begin to feel a little like Alice making her way towards Wonderland. Inadvertently, you do get a bit of real history mixed in with your dramatised experience as you crouch under the recreated low ceilings of the famous vessel.

Sat amongst the cannons on the gun deck, the next character you meet is ‘legendary adventurer’ Captain Jack Cassidy who hands out your first drink of the evening – a tasty and pretty strong if slightly sweet tequila and white rum-based concoction laced with gold shimmer. This ‘grog’ is part of the treasure hoard and you’re told to hide it from the Governor’s view at all costs. And you’d be advised not to stand up too quickly. Not only could the drink go to your head, but you’re also likely smash it on the ceiling.

Led around in small groups of your own companions, there’s no need to mingle with strangers at any point– aside from the actors, of course.

Golden Hinde

Once everyone has enjoyed their Golden Shimmer, it’s off down a small, steep stairway to the lower deck where you’re seated on thin benches amid wooden barrels.

Here, you’re met by a barman and by this point you’ll be so used to being spoken to in pirate drawl that it’ll take you back a little when asked what you’d like to order in plain English. There are five cocktails to choose from including the Royal Docks (a Royal G&T with elderflower & Earl Grey tea), Beneath the Bridge (a salted caramel Old Fashioned) and St Mary’s Margarita (a Persian Lime & Nori Margarita).

You’ll enjoy a choice of two of these cocktails as the merriment continues and you may even have your fortune read. I, apparently, am likely to be disappointed by a loved one but then come into a large sum of money. You win some, you lose some.

Golden Hinde

The evening draws to an end as the pirates are discovered by the Governor and it all heads a little south for them. You and your group will then be promptly ushered off the ship, and back into normality again.

The verdict

While the evening begins with a big dose of misapprehension as you’re thrown well and truly out of your comfort zone (Londoners are a cynical bunch), by the time the evening draws to a close, it seems to be smiles all round. Granted, that could be because of the potency of the cocktails, but does it really matter?

The beauty of this immersive experience is that it’s not overly immersive. You’re not forced to do anything you don’t want to and you can be as involved as you like. The night runs fairly smoothly but the end might feel a little abrupt.

The experience lasts one hour and forty five minutes (any longer amid the low ceilings and you’d almost definitely do yourself an injury) and while it goes fairly quickly, the Golden Hinde sits right next to the Old Thameside Inn so you can easily continue the merriment should you feel so inclined.

Golden Hide
The replica of the Golden Hinde is seaworthy CREDIT: GETTY

Top tip

Don’t forget to grab a snack before you board either. There’s no ye olde crisps to be enjoyed here.

The details

Pirates of the Hidden Spirit lasts for one hour and forty minutes and costs £34.99 per person. Unlike other themed nights hosted by Inventive Productions (Alcotraz and Moonshine Saloon), this is not BYO. Instead, you get three cocktails for your entry fee.

While you’re paying for the experience as much as the drinks, the measures are generous and they’re rather tasty classics with a pirate twist. Guests can purchase additional cocktails once on board.

Golden Hinde
You can play with the wheel. We checked. CREDIT: MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY/MATT MARTIN

Opening times

Thursday: 17:30 – 23:30
Friday: 17:30 – 23:30
Saturday: 17:30 – 23:30


Bookings can be made online at: or through Design My Night:


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