Springsteen Braves Mud, Ursula’s Bikini: London Weekend

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen, preforms with his E Street band, at the Roskilde Festival on Saturday night. Photographer: Gregers Tycho/Polfoto via the Associated Press

Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Soundgarden all play this weekend as Hard Rock Calling becomes the latest event to brave the soggy British summer.

Torrential rain left Hyde Park so muddy after the Wireless Festival that the Hit Factory Live event with Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan was canceled this week. Now wood chippings have been put down, and Hard Rock is back on track, along with a Madonna show on July 17 and later concerts.

Hard Rock has no Glastonbury rival this year and also includes Iggy and the Stooges and John Fogerty. Information: http://www.hardrockcalling.co.uk

Galvin at Windows, atop the Hilton Park Lane, is convenient for Hyde Park and not as expensive as you might think. The set lunch is 25 pounds ($38.60) for two courses and 29 pounds for three. For that, you get excellent modern French food and some of the best views in London. Information: http://www.galvinatwindows.com or +44-20-7208-4021.


His name is Bond -- James Bond -- and he’s expecting you.

Actor Sean Connery (or his wax likeness) leans coolly against the Aston Martin 1964 DB5 parked outside the Barbican Centre. He’s a life-sized billboard for “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style,” the sprawling exhibition inside.

Cigarette-pack detonators, casino chips and sparkly gowns feature in a tribute to the 50-year-old film franchise. Look out for the attache case with the flick-out blade, James Bond passports picturing the various actors, and the 1997 “Tomorrow Never Dies” mobile phone that looks like an antique.

Original swimwear includes Ursula Andress’s belted white bikini, looking shriveled beside the orange knockoff worn by Halle Berry. Fans of the Daniel Craig beach scene in “Casino Royale” can admire his blue swimming trunks in the same vitrine.

The show is scattered all over the Barbican. If you skip the end, you’ll miss the special-effects shark, Madonna’s outfit in “Die Another Day” (2002), and the Bond snowmobile.

At the Barbican Centre through Sept. 5. Information: http://www.barbican.org.uk.

If you want a treat when visiting the Barbican, it’s just a 10-minute walk to Club Gascon, one of the most exciting French restaurants in London. Chef Pascal Aussignac serves seasonal dishes inspired by the cuisine of southwest France. There’s a vegetarian menu if foie gras isn’t your thing. Information: http://www.clubgascon.com/ or +44-20-7796-0600.

Zetter Townhouse celebrates Bastille Day with a barbecue, drinks, Boules and a slow bicycle race in St. John’s Square, all to the accompaniment of an accordionist. French chefs and restaurateurs will compete to be Petanque champion. (The event actually kicks off on Friday, if you are free.) In the evening, neighboring Bistrot Bruno Loubet will serve a four-course French feast for 60 pounds. Information: http://www.thezettertownhouse.com/ or +44-20-7324-4444.

The Boundary is hosting a daylong event on Saturday when Master of Wine Tim Atkin will compare French wines with their New World counterparts. Tickets are 110 pounds, including lunch. Information: http://www.theboundary.co.uk or +44-20-7729-1051.

Saturday Night

Watch the culmination of an Olympian effort at the Royal Opera House.

“Metamorphosis: Titian 2012” has seen seven choreographers including Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon team up with artists, composers and poets in an Olympic-year tribute to Titian. Dancers Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo (who recently took the helm at English National Ballet) star in the first of the four performances.

At the National Gallery, you can see the Titian paintings that inspired the piece, and the contemporary works created by three artists including Mark Wallinger and Chris Ofili.

For information: http://www.roh.org.uk and http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk.


One of London’s best-loved waterways, Regent’s Canal, is marking its 200th birthday this weekend. The canal and footpath, from gentrified Little Venice near Maida Vale through to Limehouse in the east, is hosting arts events for all ages.

Those starting from the houseboat basin, once home to Richard Branson, can stop off at London Zoo, Regent’s Park and King’s Place.

“Tales From the Tunnel” offers a storytelling boat trip inside the Islington Tunnel, running all weekend and costing 7 pounds. You can also take to the water in a Venetian gondola or watch a display of origami boats. Information: +7725-995229, http://regentscanalfestival.org.uk

Claude Debussy’s 150th birthday is being celebrated with John Eliot Gardiner conducting “Pelleas et Melisande” at the Proms. The festival starts Friday with the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “Canon Fever” on a night when four British conductors share the baton and Bryn Terfel sings.

Information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms or +44-845-401-5040.

(Farah Nayeri and Mark Beech write for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are their own.)

Muse highlights include Zinta Lundborg’s New York weekend and Lewis Lapham on history.

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