“WHO do you support?” I jokingly asked the landlord at the village pub we had chosen for Saturday lunch.

He raised an eyebrow, glancing beyond me into the pool room where Leeds United memorabilia covered two walls.

It would have to be Leeds, who were about to kick-off against Middlesbrough, the side I have supported since my teens, when I had a job selling programmes at matches.

“I’ll keep you posted on the score,” he said, as we walked into the cosy bar where a log fire blazed and a group of locals stood chatting.

We had come to the Blacksmiths Arms in Farlington near Sheriff Hutton, after hearing about it from my neighbour Betty, who had visited previously and been bowled over by its rustic charm and delicious, reasonably-priced food.

Eleven miles from York city centre, the red brick pub is in the centre of this pretty village with its 12th century church. The large car park at the rear was just starting to fill up as we arrived.

Ordering drinks at the bar – a pint of Sam Smith’s for my husband Andrew, a slimline tonic water with a dash of lime for me and a plain slimline tonic for Betty, who had come with us – I noticed the focus on soccer had shifted to horse racing, with pictures of fine-looking thoroughbreds around the room.

It turns out that landlord Simon and his wife Tracey – who does the cooking – have owned a string of racehorses, experiencing some success. Their latest young hopeful, yearling Charley Brown, is among the many photographs.

With stone-flagged floors, the characterful dining room was, until the 1970s, the village blacksmith. Implements used in the trade hang from whitewashed walls. Daffodils in mini milk bottles on each table add to the charm.

We sat in snug, high-backed settles, to peruse the menu of mainly traditional fare – sausage and mash, homemade pie of the day, lambs’ liver and onions – with continental and Asian options including lasagne and curry.

A daily specials board offered choices including gammon steak and leek and cheese fishcake.

For starters Betty chose soup of the day: roasted red pepper, which arrived with a hunk of soft, warm bread and a pot of butter (£4.25).

She said it was just the right consistency, with tasty chunks of pepper.

Andrew picked cheese and beer croquettes (£4.25), served with a salad garnish. Nicely crisp on the outside with a gooey middle, both flavours broke through, he said, and sat well with the delicate garlicky chives and spinach in the salad.

Opting not to have a starter, I chose a main of spicy chicken burger in a bun, served with salad garnish coleslaw and hand-cut chips (£7.95).

With a crunchy topping, the chicken was tender and flavourful. It came with a spiral of fried onion, which my husband eyed jealously. The generous portion of chips, served separately, were nicely cooked.

Betty enjoyed her wholetail scampi with hand-cut chips, garden peas and salad (£8.50).

Typically, Andrew bypassed the traditional, making a beeline for curry of the day (£8.95), which happened to be Thai green.

Neatly presented, with a mini haystack of fluffy rice, it was delicious, he said, with a pleasing, creamy texture, crunchy vegetables and just the right amount of spice.

We all felt full, but when Simon mentioned blackberry and apple pie and sticky toffee pudding, Andrew and I couldn’t resist.

Served with ice cream, the pie was fruity, with just the right amount of sharpness. Andrew said his sticky toffee pudding was “delicious", adding "I could taste the dates, and it was such a huge helping”.

We finished with a pot of tea and a cafetière of coffee, and herein lies my only criticism: we were given milk jiggers – little pull-top cartons that are fine in a fast-food environment but not here. Fresh milk in a small jug would be preferable. The two puddings, tea and coffee came to £14.15.

By the time we got up to go Middlesbrough were winning one-nil.

As we chatted to locals in the now busy bar, one of them dropped a bombshell – Simon is the son of Leeds United legend Peter Lorimer, who captained the team from 1984 to 1985 and holds the record as the club's youngest ever player and record goal scorer.

A football top worn by Peter in the 1973 FA Cup Final between Leeds and Sunderland, which Sunderland won 1-0, is framed on the wall. No wonder Simon – who was at one time a semi-professional player – is a Leeds fan.

Two things to note about dining at the Blacksmith’s Arms – it is cash only, and the dining room is small, so it is wise to book in advance.

Our bill came to an extremely reasonable £52.90 including our drinks from the bar, which cost £4.85.

Not long after we left Leeds equalised in the 101st minute. Well, you can’t win 'em all.

Blacksmiths Arms, Farlington, York YO61 1NW

Phone: 01347 810581

Food: Nicely presented and tasty 4/5

Service: Prompt and attentive 4/5

Ambience: Characterful and friendly 5/5

Value: Excellent 5/5

All reviews are independent and paid for by The Press