Marine Ices was formerly London’s best-loved ice cream parlour – and a popular restaurant too.
Italian immigrant Gaetano Mansi opened a grocery store in Drummond Street, Euston, in 1928. To avoid wasting over-ripe fruit he began to make sorbets, which soon became his best-selling line, prompting him to open Mansi’s Cafe at the foot of Haverstock Hill in 1931.
After the Second World War Mansi’s eldest son rebuilt the café in ‘marine’ style, and renamed it accordingly. From the mid-1960s the business began supplying its frozen desserts to other London restaurants, and theatres and hotels.
Marine Ices was run by members of the fourth generation of the Mansi family until they sold out in February 2013. The original shop (and restaurant) closed in September 2014. A new shop is located at 61 Chalk Farm Road.
Given the change in ownership and location – and the fact that the ice cream itself is now made in Suffolk rather than in Chalk Farm – the original Marine Ices institution can be considered to have expired. However, this page will remain on Hidden London as an archive piece.
Marine Ices is the title of a 2011 novel by Tony Garnett, in which love conquers all – with the help of ice cream in Chalk Farm.