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Spitbank Fort

Island Fortress

If you’re going to abandon the city during the pandemic, can you at least do something less boring than slink away to the suburbs? Like, buy your own island fortress, for God’s sake! Located halfway between the Isle of Wight and the British mainland, these three fortifications were built in the 19th century to protect Portsmouth Harbor from attack, and are now for sale. Two have recently been refurbished as hotels and events venues, are priced at roughly $5 million each, and include such improvements as swimming pools (situated in massive old gun emplacements), a helicopter pad, and up to 23 bedrooms. The third—and cheapest—is the fixer-upper, listed at $986,000. You can buy one, or all three are available as a lot. Perfect for building your own retreat. Or Bond villain–level lair. (Inquire at —Michael Hainey


De Carlo Olive Oil

Am I snobbish about olive oil? Oh, sure. But if you’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy the finer stuff, you can hardly blame me. During lockdown, grocery-store shortages have provided a perfect excuse to upgrade my usual staple to something a bit more luxurious. Enter De Carlo, a family-owned Italian enterprise that uses stone-crushed Ogliarola and Coratina olives harvested in Puglia for their best-selling, award-winning Il Classico variety. I could start rattling off the technical reasons why it tastes so deliciously grassy and fresh—and not nearly as spicy as some finishing oils—but what’s more pertinent: at $56 for a three-quart tin, it’s a far better value than much of what you’ll find at your local IGA, and it’s just as delicious over grilled veggies and meat as it is in a salad dressing. ($56, —Ashley Baker



Whether you’re a casual movie fan or dedicated cinephile, we’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when you realize you’ve spent hours scrolling through the Internet’s limitless selection of streaming movies rather than actually watching one. Thankfully, I haven’t had one of those long evenings since I downloaded the Letterboxd app. Launched in 2011, but still inexplicably under the radar, this “social network for film lovers” allows you to track, rate, and review movies as well as keep up with what your friends are watching. You can create custom lists—such as a selection of life-changing movies—and become your own amateur film critic. Now more than ever, cinema is a cherished form of escape, and this free app helps you expand your horizons without adding to the chaos of life or social media. ( —Sarah Hardt


The ITV Sport Euro 96 Relived Podcast

What started out as a way to up the spirits of Brits in sports withdrawal this spring has given way to a stellar stand-alone series that relives the European Football Championship of 1996, both on the pitch and off. In May, ITV replayed every single match of the Euro 96 and invited its chief sports commentator, Mark Pougatch, to host an accompanying podcast. Fast-forward through the summer, live soccer is back (though, like most other sports, sans fans), and the players are on the field, making the series all the more valuable. Opening with Pougatch’s thick British accent, each episode gets the footballers together in a room talking about that championship. “A particularly memorable tournament for sports fans on these shores,” says Pougatch. The show kicks off with Tony Adams, England’s then captain, who recalls 1996 as the year that changed his life—despite leading his team to the semi-finals, Adams was struggling with alcoholism—and goes on to feature David Seaman, Stuart Pearce, Teddy Sheringham, Ally McCoist, Jordi Cruyff, and others in conversation. ( —Julia Vitale

Issue No. 58
August 22, 2020
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Issue No. 58
August 22, 2020