Love in a Heatwave: Ice Cream at Marrocco's, Hove, East Sussex


You won’t remember because you’re too busy expiring in today’s THIRTY-DEGREE heat, but exactly a month ago there was a terribly dull Sunday of wind and rain.

We took this to mean we should treat ourselves to sushi in Brighton’s Seven Dials with my dad and lo and behold, as we gulped down our last futomaki, the weather dried up.

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Hove beach and Marrocco’s on King’s Esplanade called. It was eyewateringly windy on the beach, and there was dog shit everywhere (but I won’t go into that because I get apoplectic about it and I want to keep things nice). We battled against the forces of nature, picking up washed up cuttlefish and wobbling along the groynes, until we reached the cheerful facade of Marrocco’s, its chiller-full of gloopy waves of gelato in saturated hues visible from the door.

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Marrocco’s opened as an ice cream shop by owner Pietro’s parents in 1969, in a spot where a restaurant called Fortes had been since the 1930s. Its interior, with its wood panelling and button-backed booths is a gift from the past.

Pietro’s dad Renato got up at 4am each day to make the ice cream, which won awards and drew promenading families in of a Sunday. Then, in 1998, Marrocco’s became a full-blown Italian restaurant, its booths filled with people eating delicious food ‘from the old country’, including fresh-as-anything fish and, since 2013, amazing fresh pasta.

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Its ice cream is still a major draw and on hot days the queue is out the door (the only thing Marrocco’s say they’ll apologise for!). There are 24 flavours, including frozen yogurt and sorbet, and their popular blue bubblegum (a hit with my two). You can order by the scoop in a waffle cone or tub.

Retro sundaes are also available, including the knickerbocker glory, banana split, and Marrocco’s gondola.

Yes, yes they are.

P.S. For more sixties ice cream on the Sussex coast, see this post about Fusciardi’s in Eastbourne.


Drive: 20 mins
Train: Five per hour, changing in Brighton, 28-34 min. Walk, 15 min
Address: 8 Kings Esplanade, Hove, BN3 2WS
Tel no.: 01273 203 764
Open: Mon-Sun, 9am-late
Price: One scoop, £2.50; two scoops £3.50

Disclosure: My family and I went to Marrocco’s one blustery Sunday as a wonderful diversion. I took some snaps and made a mental note to write about it when the weather was better. Marrocco’s did not know I was reviewing their restaurant or the ice cream. No compensation, financial or otherwise, was offered or accepted for the writing of the post. 

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I’m Kate, a copywriter, brand consultant and editor who creates messages that are clear and clean. I create these for brands and agencies both big and boutique, in areas including design, homes and interiors, travel, fashion, lifestyle, beauty, food, and kids and families. I believe clear, clean messages bolster brands and businesses. They evoke emotion and ignite inspiration, and when written well, they’re easier to absorb – and respond to. I live in Copenhagen and am half-English, half-Danish. I write as comfortably in American English as in British, and behind the scenes I'm also studying Danish. Need help getting your message out? Contact me.

4 thoughts on “Love in a Heatwave: Ice Cream at Marrocco's, Hove, East Sussex

  1. Kate,

    just tell you that apart from a really nice read, your entrances are so good for me to brush up my English! The English language as it is really spoken and written nowadays. Also I gather so many tips of places where we can go to in Lewes on our summer holidays… It really cheers me up in these hectic days of work! Thank you! Kisses from Spain, Cristina.

    1. Thank you Cristina! I hope the site is useful for you during your summer trip here – there is so much to do near us and it’s all so beautiful! So nice to have a comment from Spain – I hope it all works out with the nursery x

    1. I’m dying to have an actual sit-down meal there Abi, I think it must be so good from the menu online… x

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