The bar was quiet when we arrived at 5pm but soon filled up with local business men and women who were calling in for a drink or two and catching up with friends after work. The vibe is relaxed and slightly upmarket with Chester style sofas, cosy booths and chandeliers. The music is perfectly pitched so you don't have to shout across the table which was great (now I'm sounding old aren't I!).
Kelly was feeling a little under the weather so decided to start with a Penicillin from the cocktail menu for medicinal purposes of course! Made with Monkey Shoulder and Ardbeg whiskies, ginger syrup, honey and lemon water it went down a treat and priced at only £5.40 was a bargain too.
I decided to go for the Spring Thyme - Boulard Calvodos, benedictine, lemon juice, pineapple, thyme and black pepper. Priced at £5.90 I thought this was a reasonable price for a pretty decent cocktail.
We perused the food menu with hungry stomachs - the menu is a little quirky with pea and ham salad or lemonade and cumin spiced fish as options. We decided to play it safe though and both ordered a beef burger which was served in a brioche bun with smoked applewood cheese and a dill, vanilla lime and cucumber pickle.
Our burger was ok for £5.50 but not a patch on the Fat Hippo up the road. What we did begrudge is paying £5.80 extra for two portions of twice cooked freshly cut chips. They were a little bit bland and certainly didn't have a homemade taste to them which was disappointing.
There are no desserts available at 97 & Social (or if there are we weren't made aware) so we decided to order another cocktail each. Another Penicillin for Kelly and a Lonsdale for me (Gin, lemon juice, honey, fresh basil and lemon juice). The service we received from the staff was perfect - they checked everything was ok and were pretty speedy in making our drinks which is fairly unusual for a cocktail bar.
Our bill was £38 for a burger, chips and two cocktails each which I don't suppose was too bad and in hindsight was pretty good value considering we could have spent that on two cocktails each in some city centre bars. I wasn't wowed by the food though so although I would return to 97 & Social next time I am out with the girls on Osborne Road, it would be for cocktails only. It is worth noting that they have almost 20 types of whisky available so I am sure this bar would be a hit with my whiskey-loving other half too.