Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Grease a 23cm ring tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Grease the paper. Coat the dates and nuts with the flour and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Add flour, alternating with milk, and mix well. Add vanilla and lemon essences. Fold in nuts and dates.
Pour batter into tin. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and pour orange syrup over cake immediately. Cool in pan for 30 minutes, then remove from pan. Let stand upside-down overnight, then turn over and serve.
To make the orange syrup: In a medium bowl, combine orange juice and icing sugar. Mix until smooth.