Leonard Cohen Growls, Ascot, Royal Carpet: London Weekend

Leonard Cohen, the menu at Royal Ascot, and a carpet designed by the Queen’s nephew are our choices for London this weekend.


A rich white man is accused of raping a young black woman.

That’s the incendiary premise of David Mamet’s “Race” (penned in 2009), an 85-minute rant on how prejudice runs both ways. The action is set in a book-lined, wood-paneled firm of three attorneys, one of them a young African-American woman with an Ivy League degree.

Though “Race” can get preachy, it feels current, and recalls other racially charged face-offs (the Anita Hill hearings, the O.J. Simpson trial). At the Hampstead Theatre through June 29. Information: http://wwww.hampsteadtheatre.com or +44-20-7722-9301.


Taste of London brings together some of London’s finest chefs in an annual celebration of food in Regent’s Park. Visitors sample cuisine from some 40 restaurants and watch demonstrations by culinary masters such as Albert Roux and his son Michel, Phil Howard (of the Square) and Bruno Loubet (Grain Store). The event started Thursday and continues until Sunday. There are two daily sessions and some sell out, so book. Information: http://london.tastefestivals.com/london/.

It’s Royal Ascot on Friday and Saturday, a chance to show off your wardrobe and your betting skills. While there’s a choice of restaurants, the food crowd will probably converge on the Panoramic, at the top of the Grandstand, where chef Tom Kerridge will be serving a British menu. Kerridge holds two Michelin stars at his pub, the Hand & Flowers. Information: http://www.royalascothospitality.co.uk/.


What’s Noah’s ark doing on Savile Row?

A massive fishing boat has been hauled inside the Hauser & Wirth gallery by Indian-born Subodh Gupta. Hooked to the ceiling and tilted to one side, the boat is filled with bric-a-brac: kettles and pots, an old twist-knob TV, rusty bikes, faded mattresses, and jute sacks. Inspired by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, it’s quite a sight. At Hauser & Wirth, 23 Savile Row, W1S 2ET: http://www.hauserwirth.com or call +44-20-7827-2300.

Across the street is a much more intimate show of works by the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida. It comes recommended -- by sculptor Anthony Caro, who was a friend. See Chillida’s totemic sculptures, which look wooden even though they’re made of Corten steel, and the gorgeous carved alabaster cube in the basement between walls of less striking works on paper.

At the Ordovas gallery, 25 Savile Row, London W1S 2ER. Information: http://www.ordovasart.com or call +44-20-7287-5013.


Leonard Cohen brings his fedora, double-breasted suit, and gravelly voice back to London.

The 78-year-old has spent the last year traveling the world to support his album “Old Ways.” His wit is still as dry as a Martini when he commends his crack band between numbers such as “Hallelujah” and “Suzanne.”

June 21, O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX; +44-20-8463-2000, http://www.theo2.co.uk, http://www.leonardcohen.com

The 20,000-seat O2 is too small for the Killers, so the U.S. band is at Wembley. It’s sure to fill the 90,000-capacity arena with “Battle Born” and other crowd-pleasing anthems.

June 22, Wembley Stadium, Empire Way, HA9 0WS. Information: http://www.wembleystadium.com and http://www.thekillers.co.uk/

The City of London classical-music festival starts Sunday, with lots of Britten on the menu. Edward Gardner conducts Britten’s “War Requiem” at St. Paul’s Cathedral (June 25), and his Church Parables are performed in Southwark Cathedral (July 3-6), where he first directed them. Another highlight: the mobile orchard that will be wheeled around London’s money-making square mile: http://www.colf.org or +44-845-120-7502.


If you’re near Piccadilly, pop into the quaint Burlington Arcade. You’ll be walking all over a royal creation: The new black-and-white carpet is designed by David Linley -- nephew of Queen Elizabeth II.

Linley, an interior designer, has dotted the 180-meter rug with multiple world monuments, including the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and the Empire State Building. Sadly, his auntie’s digs didn’t make the cut.

At the Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly. For more information: http://www.burlington-arcade.co.uk.

(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include London and New York weekend guides, Jeremy Gerard on New York theater and Lewis Lapham on history.

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