Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Platform 9 and 3/4 moves again

Update: August 2011
Platform 9¾ has moved yet again. See the Platform 9¾ page in our Attractions section for more details.

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Original post:
Important news for Harry Potter fans and anyone else travelling to Hogwarts.

Official Network Rail document refers to “muggles”

As the construction of the new King’s Cross station concourse continues, Network Rail have produced a leaflet explaining how the station layout will be affected by the renovation of Platform 8 (which is where Platform 9¾ was until recently).

As well as affecting access routes and bicycle racks, the work also means that Platform 9¾ has moved again and - just to keep me on my toes - will probably move again over the next summer months, as the leaflet explains:

Magical Platform 9¾
The legendary entrance will relocate itself several times between now and September, materialising in a number of locations around the station to accommodate this short phase of work. Any muggles trying to find Platform 9¾ should ask station staff to point them in the right direction.

You can find this information in a PDF on First Capital Connect’s website.

So, Platform 9¾ is now at the front of the station where it’s getting noticed by many more people than when it was hidden away in a quiet corner. It still has a pretend wall but with so much re-location going on we can probably live with that.

Find more photos and directions on KXLDN’s Platform 9¾ page.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Recent arrivals

Here are some places that have opened and closed in King’s Cross in the last few months.

Reinforcing its position as the place to go for Asian restaurants, King’s Cross Road has seen the arrival of:

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  • Sen Viet, a Vietnamese restaurant that brings currently fashionable Banh Mi (Vietnamese baguettes) to the area.
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  • Shibuya - a Japanese restaurant in the old pub that was previously occupied by Konstam at the Prince Albert (which sadly closed last year).

Just up the road, Swintons wine bar is under new management and now serves Malaysian food. These places join existing Asian neighbours Itadaki Zen, Taste of Asia and Thai Aubergine.

Meanwhile, the Caledonian Road - which has already become a focus for cute and quirky places - has recently welcomed:

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  • Vx from the Secret Society of Vegans and also
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  • VOC (across the yard from Camino) which has replaced Cellar N1 and will sell you punches inspired by the 17th Century Dutch East India Company with names like Bergamot Grog and Dog’s Nose.

Down in the bowels of King’s Cross St Pancras tube station, Café and Tapas is a recent addition to a chain of cafes that arrived from Spain last year.

On the hotel front, the magnificent and much written about

Finally, as reported already, KFC have left the area.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chickened out

Many of the first visitors to KXLDN were Googlers of the phrase “kfc kings cross closed” so I thought I’d get the blog up and running with a post for you KFC-hunters.

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I can take or leave KFC (usually leave), but the tiny King’s Cross branch used to get queues at lunchtime and was often packed out in the early hours at weekends. If anything they could probably have used a bigger site, but instead they closed at the beginning of May.

I was going to email KFC to see what was happening but a few days later the answer became clear when the King’s Cross branch vanished from their website. So for the time being at least it looks as if they’re gone.

Maybe they’ll show up again in the re-developed King’s Cross station next year, but judging by this map on their website it doesn’t look as if their plans involve having much of a presence in central London these days:

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KFC was in a prime location and I’ll update the site when a new business turns up there, but on May 13th it looked like this:

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Meanwhile if you still need a chicken fix, the nearest KFCs are in Camden and Islington, while round here you can find Nando’s, Q’s Chicken and King Rooster.