The ravishing clifftop town of Ravello on Italy’s Amalfi Coast may seem like a far cry from London’s Tower Bridge Road, but it was an emigrant from that sunny spot who established M. Manze pie and mash shop in Bermondsey in 1902. Today, Michele Manze’s three grandsons proudly run the family business, which also has branches in Peckham and Sutton.
‘There was a massive revival in the early 1990s,’ says Geoff Poole, one of the brothers. ‘We couldn’t keep up with demand. It has dwindled a bit since then, but we’ve expanded in new ways, offering memorabilia like T-shirts, hoodies and mugs.’
A Grade II-listed building, the Bermondsey branch is also the firm favourite of many a celebrity. ‘Danny Baker comes in every time he’s off to see Millwall play,’ says Geoff. ‘Jim Davidson’s a regular, too, and Roy Orbison used to come by in his car and send his driver in with his order. Victoria Beckham was interviewed here for a TV show, and claimed it’s David’s favourite place. Can’t say I’ve ever seen him, though.’
87 Tower Bridge Road SE1
Photography: Rahel Weiss