An economic tsunami may be sweeping the rest of the world, but at London's St Pancras Station you'd never know it.

I'm here to see my husband off on the Eurostar to Paris and what better way to bid him adieu than with a glass of bubbles at the station's flashy Champagne Bar?

Yet even my favourite tipple can't distract me from the hordes of chic travellers with their Louis Vuitton luggage ordering £100 ($250) bottles of champers.

In the world's longest champagne bar, it would seem that the words "credit" and "crunch" are banned.

Sadly, I don't own any matching luggage. And the only ticket I have is for the London Underground. But that doesn't mean I'm not welcome at the 96m long bar that runs the length of the Eurostar platform and is, appropriately, laid out like a first-class buffet car.

We fight our way past piles of monogrammed suitcases and find an empty brown leather banquette.

Even at 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon most of the seats are filled with a combination of travellers, business types banging away furiously at laptops and elegant French women whose handbags weigh more than them.

The last time I used this station was a good 10 years ago when I caught a bone-rattler from here to Leeds. In those days a dodgy pie and watered-down coffee was about as good as the refreshments got.

My husband points out that if he'd asked at the station's former watering hole for a glass of Moet and a salmon blini he'd probably have been called a name that rhymes with "woof".

Designed by British engineer William Henry Barlow and opened in 1868, Barlow's Shed, as the arched iron and glass building came to be known, was the largest single-span structure of its time.

It survived a hammering from the Luftwaffe's bombs but, by the 1960s, was in such disrepair that the authorities proposed closing it.

One of the most strident opponents was Sir John Betjeman, then Britain's poet laureate, who said St Pancras was "too beautiful and too romantic not to survive", and campaigned to save it.

That's why travellers making their way to the high-speed trains now pass a bronze statue of Betjeman, gazing up in apparent wonder at the station's soaring glass ceiling.

His memorial is part of the £800 million, 13-year refurbishment that saw Barlow's Shed restored to its former glory, including the original glazing pattern that revealed details lost to the eye for generations, and ironwork that now sports the same shade of sky-blue as it did in late Victorian times.

Downstairs, in Barlow's old basement, a gleaming new level of shops, cafes and bars leads to regional train services and five Underground lines.

Known as St Pancras International, the station was opened by the Queen in November 2007 and since then more than 50 million travellers have passed through its shiny hallways.

I figure that champagne and oysters is the best tribute I can pay to the revamped station.

Within a second of being seated we've given a menu that features 100 champagnes. By-the-glass options range from £7.50 for Jean Paul Deville Carte Noire to £26.50 for Dom Perignon 2000.

Or, we could sell several body parts and go for the bottled options such as Krug at £880 or the eye-wateringly expensive Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam 1995 at £6500.

We opt for the usual trick - not the cheapest and not the most expensive - and get a glass of Tattinger Brut at £12.50.

There's something a little bit romantic about drinking champagne on a train concourse, almost like you should be wearing a trilby, with steam swirling around you.

Okay, so it's the 15.45 to EuroDisney rather than the Orient Express, but there's no denying the bar's glamorous vibe.

Sitting trackside doesn't mean we have to contend with smelly, noisy trains. They've thoughtfully installed high glass panels to separate the bar and the 800-tonne beasts that glide quietly on their way to and from Paris, Brussels and EuroDisney, while the platform itself drops away to allow patrons to admire their full roof-to-undercarriage splendour.

The Champagne Bar isn't the warmest of places but no sooner has the Polish-born waiter seen me snuggle further into my jacket than he whizzes over to show me how the heater works.

The seats are heated, and warm air blows out beneath the table, provided we remember to push the button every now and again.

If you're hungry, and have a palate far posher than mine, then you can chow down on quail eggs and caviar.

There's also a traditional cream tea on offer or, if you fancy, organic porridge with manuka honey. All of which come with white linen napkins and heavy silver cutlery.

We order six oysters each. At the equivalent of $26 they're not the cheapest things we'll eat this week, but they are delicious.

So easily do they go down, in fact, that it isn't long before I'm eyeing up the neighbouring table's antipasto platter and wondering if I've got time to order one.

But it's time for hubbie to take his leave. We finish our bubbles and I walk him to his carriage, marvelling at the difference champagne makes.

Hanging around station platforms has traditionally been the preserve of that geeky group of individuals dismissively known as trainspotters. But replace the notepad and bad styrofoam coffee with a glass of top-notch fizz and suddenly the whole thing becomes a mighty fine idea.

William Henry Barlow would surely have approved.