— Ellie Broughton

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Spring is in the air, and for chocoholics that can only mean one thing. Easter eggs are inspired by the traditional symbolism of the egg as promising new life, but for anyone who’s started a new life as a vegan or is dairy intolerant, they can evoke sad memories of an easier life when you didn’t have to check ingredients lists before buying.

Luckily the dairy-free egg market gets stronger every year, and we found plenty of quality, tasty options to try.

Click here to head over and see the best in show.

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I am a huge fan of LitHub – an American website started by a team including the founder of Electric Literature. I got a commission from features editor Jess Bergman via Twitter (a first for me) to cover literary bots.

Linguist and programmer Esther Seyffarth defined a bot in a Medium post last year as “a program or agent that generates content and posts it to Twitter automatically, following some schedule or reacting to some trigger.” In the case of Twitter’s literary bots, or “corpus-fed” bots, programmers take a body of work—for example, the text file of War & Peace as it stands at Project Gutenberg—and build a program that “reads” the novel, 140 characters at a time, “aloud” by publishing sensible whole-word extracts as tweets from a dedicated Twitter account.

Literature, in the manic context of Twitter, feels like a novelty—the joy of witnessing something, somewhere, committed publishing an entire work. But at times, the bots feels uncanny too. Coincidences that arise between their tweets and the memes, gifs and beef that frame them can be as disruptive as it is delightful. Novels, titles and poems “out of place” unsettle us: not amping our anxiety like the news does, but sounding through the fog to wake up something deeper. We double-take, re-read and find originality in repetition. (Read more on the site).

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2017 started with a great opportunity for me – I covered travel stories for The Independent and one got a coveted spot on the homepage.

Kevin English, who has reviewed more than 400 reviews of airline food to date, told me why he’s so passionate about airline meals, and revealed his favourite so far (all 17 courses of it).

Duncan Welsh, the head of events at The View from The Shard, told me how he organised an improbable 154 private wedding proposals on the viewing platforms of Britain’s tallest building – and he claims a 100 per cent success rate. (He also told me about the time he built an igloo on the 72nd floor).

Dale Philip travelled to more than 50 countries after quitting his IT job to play poker full-time, winning up to £10,000 in a single month – he explained why he was now going to jack it in.

And Dr Mike Townend talked me through half a dozen ways a 16-hour flight wreaks havoc on your body – including the reason why some people get worse gas at altitude.

All those stories are here in The Independent’s Travel section.

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I wrote an article about my tour of lighthouses in Madeira for Elsewhere, a quarterly travel writing journal published out of Berlin. It’s available to buy online, or from the MagCulture shop in Clerkenwell, London.

My writing sits alongside work about Ormside Street in Bermondsey, Indonesia, Prague, Hawaii and Rhoscolyn. Illustrations are by Julia Stone, one of the two editors of the journal.

Lighthouses are something I have written about before for the same journal, and I also previously wrote about the impact of Storm Desmond for the journal too in ‘The Language Of The Land Is Water‘.

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Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 13.46.52 Dana Lixenberg’s portraits of LA citizens like the one above are just one of the brilliant highlights at this year’s Deutsche Borse prize exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery. I picked this, and eight other brilliant exhibitions, for Refinery29 UK reader to diarise in January.

Big retrospectives for Basquiat and Wolfgang Tillmans dominate the calendar, while the centenary of the Russian revolution brings not one but three major exhibitions to the city’s galleries that will cover everything from architecture to poster design.

Fashion fans also have treats in store: the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death gives the Royal Palaces an opportunity to display all the pie-crust blouses that made her the original people’s princess, and the V&A delivers a drool-inducing exhibition of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s work – a UK first.

For more features on the London events calendar for 2017, check back regularly, or see a special on London literary events I made for the Time Out website last year. Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 13.47.12

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