Traditionally, a Drawing Room was a formal room for entertaining guests and for ladies to ‘withdraw’ to after dinner. However, Annie and Merton preferred to use this room to display their fine collection of European ceramics and furniture. The opulent doors to this room were purchased on a whim from a smoke damaged Florentine palazzo; they quickly became the inspiration for the room’s design scheme, forcing the architect to start again from scratch. The doors were intended to be left open, showing the torch and quiver motif that is found in the stained glass, furniture, fretwork screen and coving. The beautiful rosewood display cabinet originally belonged to Empress Eugénie of France (1826-1920), wife of Napoléon III (1808-1873), and was bought by Merton at auction. When the Empress visited Bournemouth, she was shocked to see the cabinet again at the Royal Bath Hotel. She sent Merton a diamond ring, possibly as a gift in exchange for the return of her cabinet. Merton, however, chose to keep the ring and the cabinet. Artwork currently on display in the Drawing Room. Click on an artwork to find out more.