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Whats in Wapping

Captain Kidd Pub

Captain Kidd Pub

A brilliant riverside location and cheap beer make the Captain Kidd pub a big hit with Wapping residents and visitors.

Just 5 minutes walk down Wapping High Street from Wapping Overground and on the 100 bus route the Captain Kidd is conveniently located.

Between two Wapping wharfs, the pub entrance slightly hidden so keep an eye out for the the sign hanging above the door.

Captain Kidd the pirate

One of the most colourful outlaws of all time, Captain Kidd himself was ultimately found guilty of murder, five counts of piracy and hanged at Wapping’s execution dock in 1701.

The hangman’s rope snapped at the first attempt and Captain Kidd was taken down before trying again. Following this his body was doused in tar, left to rot and suspended in a cage over the Thames as a warning to others.

London was the first city to have a dedicated river police service, mainly because of Captain Kidd and the scale of pirate activities in the 18th century. You only have to take a look in the Thames Police Museum in Wapping to understand the problem the River Thames presented as a commercial artery for cargo and pirate activities.

For more Captain Kidd history, references and links take a look at Wikipedia.

Captain Kidd pub in Wapping

The pub building lacks the history of Wapping’s oldest riverside pubs, the Prospect of Whitby and the Town of Ramsgate, but makes up for it in other ways.

Possibly the best riverside pub location in Wapping there’s a large outdoor garden with stunning river views.

In summer months the Captain Kidd beer garden comes to life as you can see from this 2010 summer photo by Wapping resident Alex Baxevanis. Luckily the the beer is reasonably priced and may well be the cheapest in Wapping.

Wapping reviews the Captain Kidd pub

Many thanks to our Wapping reviewers, Mark and Mark for their reviews of the Captain Kidd. Reading these and comments on Wapping’s Facebook Page the recommendation is drink and enjoy the atmosphere: the Gallows restaurant which closed 6 months ago is sadly missed. But what do you think?

Beer drinkers review

Wapping resident Mark Osborn shares his review of drinking in the Captain Kidd.

The Captain Kidd is one of my favourite Wapping pubs.

Tucked away behind a subtle exterior on Wapping High Street, it has a wonderful restored wooden decor, with stone floors and low beam ceilings, and a fantastic riverside terrace which is superb in the summer.

It’s one of many pubs in London operated by the Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery. Samuel Smiths produces a wide range of beverages, from Old Brewery Bitter, Wheat Beer and Alpine lager, to their own ciders and fruit beers. I find it refreshing to walk into a Samuel Smiths pub and see that the more common lagers, stouts and ales that you’d see everywhere else are not present.

Also not present in Captain Kidd is the high price of many London pubs. Being a pub operated by an independant brewery, and also with no PRS fees to pay for background music – they have none – the drinks in here are very reasonably priced. The Alpine lager was £2.12 a pint last time I checked!

The other drinkers have always been very friendly each time I have visited. It tends to attract a slightly younger crowd (perhaps due to the cheaper drinks), but there are always older regulars sat at the bar, and the staff are consistently a pleasant to deal with.

Unfortunately, they don’t have any guest ales or a weekly pub quiz like The Town of Ramsgate, but for excellent priced Samuel Smith’s ale in a nice envrionment with a great view of The Thames, The Captain Kidd is well worth a visit.

Reviewed by Mark Osborn www.google.com/profiles/mark.osborn

Bar food review

Following the closure of Captain Kidd’s Gallows restaurant 6 months ago Mark Baynes tried the bar food and tells us what he found.

What better place than the Captain Kidd for a pub lunch? In the summer an old friend was visiting from abroad and wanted nothing more than a good pub lunch in a traditional British pub.

I took him to the Captain Kidd one sunny day and we were rewarded with fantastic food (bangers and mash and a lovely dessert if I remember rightly) in a wonderful Thames-side setting.

So when I felt a bit peckish one Tuesday lunchtime this week I had no hesitation in wandering down to the Captain Kidd again. I just wanted something simple so ordered a cheeseburger with chips and a side of onion rings from the very friendly Aussie bar staff.

On a weekday the Captain Kidd is not overly busy, the usual regulars enjoying their pint at the bar and a mixed collection of other customers all enjoying the relaxed nature of the bars and the view of the Thames passing by.

My food arrived fairly promptly and to be honest it did not look very appetising. The burger was obviously mass-produced and was coated with cheese grilled to a liquid. The chips (I forgot to count them but there were not many) were large and on tasting them a curious mixture of over cooked outside and mushy inside. The onion rings were, well, doughy.

However I was very hungry so put my newspaper to one side and dug in. As I worked my way through the burger I considered the lot of the professional restaurant reviewer. Sounds a fabulous job but in reality is probably more a trial.

It’s difficult to describe the taste of the burger to be honest. At the time I was thinking it was similar to something you might buy from a catering van you often find in the car parks of the out of town shopping centres. Or maybe it was more motorway catering? Somewhere between the two, although to be honest I have eaten much better food motorway services.

After finishing my meal – which took determination – I went and sat outside in the garden and enjoyed the view of the Thames.

How many other pubs are there in London where you look down at the Thames?

The sky was grey and miserable, a complete change to my last visit. Now I can understand why the weather changes, but I am baffled as to how the Captain Kidd’s standard of food can change so much in six months?

Reviewed by: Mark Baynes www.baynes.co.uk

Wapping Map

View What’s in Wapping? E1W in a larger map

The Captain Kidd Story

The Museum of London Docklands starting on 20 May will explore 18th and 19th century pirate history at a special exhibition Pirates: The Captain Kidd story.

This coincides with the release of Depp’s new release Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides.

What do you think?

Do you like the Captain Kidd pub? Click the like button if you agree and share your thoughts.


  • Lady Shadwell

    This was the WORST Sunday roast I have ever had. It was a lump of microwaved, overcooked, dry, old meat and vegetables. The Yorkshire pudding was inedible which is a crime. I never leave food on my plate but it was so bad i couldn’t eat it. To add insult to the injury, they wanted to charge 2% on top of the bill if we paid by card. A day light piracy.

  • louise

    My husband and i went to the captain kid for lunch on Sunday its the first time in about 8 weeks as we had been told that there are new people running it, so we decided to give it another chance after our last visit was so bad. We had Sunday lunch and what a big change the place is so much more cleaner the staff seem lot more happier and the managers even put themselves out to help a hand when needed which was very nice. we didn’t book so had to wait around 20 mins for a table as they were very busy. When we got our meals it was well worth the wait the roast was as it says home cooked. Once we had finished we both had no room for pudding which was great for me. the difference between now and our last visit was 100 times better and will be going back next week for dinner but i will make sure i book as the roast go very quickly  

  • http://profiles.google.com/bradclarkuk Brad Clark

    Love this pub for drinks (great prices) and its literally opposite my window…Food however, is pretty terrible. It is low priced food, but is very much of the frozen and microwaved variety. It would perhaps be better if they either re-open the restaurant upstairs or simply serve some delicious bar snack food rather than meals as at the moment its spoiling the reputation of quite a lovely pub.

  • iulya

    absolutely gorgeous pub by the river! go here if you want to have a nice chat to your friends. lovely atmosphere!

  • Nichita

    very good bitter in this pub! the Old Brewery Bitter it’s called and it’s one of the best I had in London!!

  • Trubble

    Great location on the river and cheaper drinks make the Kidd a good drinkig venue. I would say the Ramsgate pips the Kidd to the post with food quality but both are great pubs.

  • dan

    I personally Love this pub!! the food is good but everything else is excellent! so 9*** from me..I can’t wait for summer to have my pint in the garden!

  • Anonymous

    Very easily – mainly because i am not sexist.

  • Jim

    Now guys how can you be so critical about the food when you have such gorgeous girls serving it?

  • Jamie Maclean

    I’m with Mark, the bar food used to be fine it was what you’d expect, just normal bar food as Daniel says but to put it frankly it is now horrible. Otherwise the Kidd is a great location, especially in the summer but I just wouldn’t go there to eat any more as there are far better options nearby!

  • Chris

    I recommend the Steak and Ale Pie here!!

  • lidia

    you’re right about that !!! we should be grateful to have such a nice pub as our local!!! well done from me

  • Daniel

    I think this pub is great!! It’s exactly what a pub should be like!!! I don’t understand this previous comments about the food. They’ve got just normal pub food. You can’t possibly expect 5*** restaurant food in a pub!! They actually ‘ve got better beer and service than most pubs in London!!!

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    the Kidd never did food, at least not in the time I’ve been there (other than the restaurant of coursem which was fairly decent from what I remember). Craig dabbled with a bar menu I think but it was rarely more than a bowl of chips.

  • Anonymous

    After my nasty cheeseburger experience at the Captain Kidd (see review) I ordered a cheeseburger at the Town of Ramsgate one lunchtime during the week and it was fab! Real pub food, well cooked, well presented by friendly staff.Not too much to ask for it seems.

  • Josephineanne

    It’s great having the Kidd as my local but have to agree re the food. I’m not a foodie fusspot but I had a green thai curry there the other night and it was a revolting gelatinous mess – a microwaved true green curry would have been ok compared to this. What an absolute shame that you can’t nip into this fab setting for a drink And and a good bite to eat – some of the best food in Britain used to come from pubs but not this one, currently.

  • Cecilia

    If Craig and Maggie are no longer there it is a sad day. We lived in Wapping some years back and what made the Captain Kidd was Craig and Maggie and their great staff. To Craig, Maggie, Simon (yes he left a few years before we did) thank you for making our daughters life and Christmas & New Years so special. The most amazing pub I ever knew.

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  • Terry

    It’s still an excellent pub. As you say it has cheap beer and river views, but the new microwaved/processed bar food sucks!

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    yes Craig, the old landlord is sadly missed. Don’t even know the new one!

    Now did any of you ever see his legendary fireworks displays, fired from the garden towards the river?

    I say towards…depending on the wind you were lucky to get away with unsinged clothes some years….

  • Wayne S

    If only the Kidd were as well run as it used to be and how we miss the Gallows restaurant.