Nine-year-old Amelie Bridge was treated to a very special trip down to London recently courtesy of Virgin Trains and Thames Rockets after she wrote to Richard Branson with suggestions for a new First Class menu.

Amelie’s menu, which featured strawberry milkshake, crab surprise, cheese savouries and a fruit salad was brought to life by Virgin Trains’ onboard staff.

«I’ve been really, really excited about the trip. I haven’t stopped talking about it to my friends – all the children at my school know about it», Amelie said. «I chose this menu because they’re all of my favourite foods. My mum also loves crab. I really loved the food. I found it all very tasty!».

Amelie travelled along with her parents and three friends as guests of Virgin Trains General Manager for the Midlands, Natasha Grice, who said: «We love getting letters like Amelie’s. We know how important food and drink is, so it was great to be able to bring Amelie’s menu to life and judging by the reaction, we may have to think about picking her brains for when our next new menu is launched».

Richard, Amelie’s dad, was full of praise for his daughter’s efforts. «The menu came about when they went on a day trip to Coventry.  Amelie loved having a menu onboard and decided she wanted to make her own and send it into Richard Branson», he added. «I just found the whole experience very special.  When the letter arrived recorded delivery, and addressed to Amelie, it made it really fun. We’re so grateful for everything they’ve done for Amelie».

This story climbed to the top of last week’s “event services” thread on Linkedin, where it has got thousands of shares. I decided to quote it not certainly to make a parallel with the legend of the financial monkey – according to which if you take a monkey, you give it a good number of darts and make it hurl them against a target made up of the major equity stocks of Wall Street, the stocks it hits provide in the long run the same performance as those offered by multi-graduated and over-paid analysts – but rather to highlight how, once again, an investment in creativity and in what is really new pays off.

For those who dare.

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